Baby Boomers Face Reality of Planning For Two
This year marks a historic benchmark in America’s aging population as Baby Boomers begin turning 60. Baby Boomers are expected to live longer than any previous generation of Americans.
Baby Boomers are those adults who were born between 1946 and 1964, a period of increased birth rate during America’s economic prosperity following World War II. Of the 3.4 million Baby Boomers born in 1946, 2.8 million are still alive. Some of America’s more famous Boomers who’ll turn 60 this year: Bill Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Donald Trump, Susan Sarandon, Steven Spielberg and Sylvester Stallone.
As Baby Boomers begin planning their lives after leaving the workforce, a growing number of them now face the additional challenge of finding care for their aging parents at the same time, because Americans are living longer. In many cases, a Baby Boomer who is now 60 has parents who are 80 or older.
Medical advancements are part of the reason people are living longer, into their 80s, 90s and even 100s. These longer lives can mean the development of chronic conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease in Baby Boomers’ parents. These conditions make it difficult for these parents to perform some or many daily activities.
At a time when most Baby Boomers are concerned about their own retirement, many also are faced with the fact that they have parents who are reaching a level where they need some type of care and assistance. It’s a situation that will continue to grow as the Baby Boomers age.
As the parents of Baby Boomers advance in age, their families will experience a “parenting the parent” situation, where adult children, who may be in their 50s or 60s, become primary caregivers.
Baby Boomers who face the reality of caring for their adult parents are discovering:
* Retirement, a time typically associated with relaxation and less stress, becomes more stressful because of the additional caregiving responsibility;
* A need now exists for greater financial planning, both for the Baby Boomers and their aging parents; and
* There are now greater demands on the time of Baby Boomers to care for their aging parents, often meaning families need to bring in outside resources.
It’s very stressful for anyone to care for aging parents. We now have an entire generation, one of the largest generations ever, facing that challenge. The good news is that help is available to aid families in providing care for seniors, and that Baby Boomers are becoming better educated on the issues of aging.
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