3 Money Mistakes Baby Boomers Are Making — The Motley Fool

The oldest baby boomers have already made their transition into retirement, and the youngest are on their way. They now face the prospect of some well-deserved R&R after several decades in the workforce — but poor financial planning could derail that for some.

Baby boomers are on track to live longer than any generation before them, which means their dollars will have to stretch much further in retirement. But those who fail to plan for this may find their financial security in jeopardy at the time when they need it the most. Here are a few of the most common money mistakes baby boomers are making, along with some suggestions on how to fix them.

Senior couple examining bills and looking worried

Image source: Getty Images.

Underestimating how much money they need to save for retirement

In the past, Americans’ retirement savings only had to see them through the last 10 years or so of their lives. But the average life expectancy of today’s 65-year-olds is 84 for men and 86 for women. That means your savings may need to last 20 years or more. This can put a strain on your finances, and it will only get worse if you end up with a serious illness that requires long-term care.

It’s important to think realistically about how much money you’ll need in retirement, preferably before you get there. First, figure out how much money you’ll need to live on each year. Then factor in the expected inflation rates and how long you expect to live. Of course, you won’t be able to predict this for sure, but most experts recommend assuming a 3% inflation rate per year. That means that if your living expenses come to about $40,000 this year, next year they may cost $41,200 due to inflation (that’s $40,000 plus 3% of $40,000). And the year after that, they may cost $42,400. Using an inflation calculator such as this one, you can plug in your current expenses, the year you plan to retire, and the anticipated inflation rate. The calculator will show you what your expenses may be in the future.

Now that you’ve estimated your annual retirement income need, you can figure out how much money your independent savings will have to provide each year. Just subtract the income you’ll receive from other sources — Social Security, pensions, annuities, and anything other than your own nest egg — from the amount of income you’ll need each year. The resulting amount will need to come from your own accounts.

If it doesn’t look as if your savings are on track to provide that income every year for a couple of decades or more, then you may need to save and invest more aggressively. Fortunately, savers over age 50 are allowed to contribute up to $6,500 per year to IRAs and $24,500 to 401(k)s to help them catch up on their retirement savings. (The contribution limits for savers under age 50 are $5,500 and $18,500, respectively.)

If you’re concerned that you may need long-term care at some point, consider adding long-term care insurance to your retirement plan to help cover these costs.

Overestimating Social Security payments

A third of baby boomers expect Social Security to become their primary source of income in retirement, according to a Transamerica study. But what most don’t realize is that Social Security was only ever meant to be supplementary. In fact, for most people, it only covers about 40% of pre-retirement income. If you haven’t been saving enough for retirement on your own, you could find yourself facing some lean times ahead. But you can avoid this problem by calculating how big you can reasonably expect your Social Security payments to be.

Your Social Security benefits are calculated based on your average inflation-adjusted monthly income during the 35 highest-earning years of your life. There are several calculators that can help you figure out how much you can expect. But if you want the most accurate estimates, create a my Social Security account on the Social Security Administration website.

Your monthly Social Security amount will also depend on when you begin taking benefits. The Social Security Administration designates your full retirement age based on the year you were born, and at that age, you’re entitled to receive 100% of the retirement benefit you’ve been promised.

For baby boomers, full retirement age will be somewhere between ages 66 and 67. You can begin drawing upon your Social Security benefits at age 62, but you’ll receive 25% less per check if your full retirement age is 66 for starting this early. If your full retirement age is 67, you’ll receive 30% less per check. For every month that you delay taking Social Security, the amount you’ll receive per check will grow until you begin receiving 100% of your benefit at your full retirement age.

But you don’t have to stop there. You can continue delaying benefits past your full retirement age, and your checks will continue to grow, all the way up until you reach the maximum benefit amount at age 70. This will be 124% of your designated benefit amount if your full retirement age is 67 and 132% if your full retirement age is 66.

Social Security alone won’t cover your expenses, so it’s important to make sure you have other retirement savings to supplement your retirement benefits.

Failing to diversify investments

More than half of baby boomers have 70% or more of their investments in stocks, according to financial technology company FeeX. This is a risky strategy, because if the stock market enters another decline, the value of these investments could plummet, leaving you without money when you need it most.

Investing in stocks is a great way to grow your nest egg, but it’s important to diversify so that if one of your investments takes a hit, you don’t lose everything — especially when you retire and start relying on your portfolio for regular income. Most financial planners recommend that baby boomers limit stocks to a maximum of 60% of their portfolio and fill the rest with bonds, money market funds, and other low-risk investments.

Regardless of what you invest in, it’s important to take the time to learn about sound investment strategies and how to choose the best investment products for your risk profile. Those who are not confident or not interested in doing this should consider asking for help from a more informed family member or a financial advisor.

For baby boomers, thorough financial planning can mean the difference between a relaxing retirement and a stressful one. Take the time to determine how much you need to see you through the rest of your life and make adjustments as necessary. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if there’s something you’re unsure about. Now isn’t the time to take unnecessary risks.

This Company Couples Up Aging Baby Boomers And Younger People—As Roommates

Audio: This Company Couples Up Aging Baby Boomers And Younger People—As Roommates



The Denver-based startup Silvernest pairs up empty nesters with young people or other aging baby boomers for housing.

Rising rents and property taxes in the Denver metro hit the city’s aging population especially hard. As more seniors struggle to afford their homes and live independently, many also have more empty rooms available.

That’s where the Colorado startup Silvernest comes in. The company helps seniors stay in their homes longer by pairing them up with roommates who are often younger. Some renters further reduce their monthly rate by providing services such as transportation, housekeeping and yard work for their elderly roommate.

Silvernest CEO Wendi Burkhardt and AARP Colorado executive councilman Ben Moultrie talked to Colorado Matters about the unique needs of aging homeowners.

This interview is a part of the Colorado Matters Disruptors series.

Baby Boomers face challenges in selling Tucson homes

TUCSON, Ariz. –

Baby boomers are getting older, many looking to downsize, moving into assisted living and possibly changing their housing choices altogether. Now, real estate experts at the University of Arizona believe boomers may face some challenges in selling their homes. 

Chris Nelson, a professor of urban planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona, analyzes housing and long-term residential trends and how they affect certain areas in the country. He is also a baby boomer.  “As we grew up in the suburbs, we understood them, we raised our own families there,” he said.  

He explained that many baby boomers moved their families to Tucson’s suburbs during 1960’s through the early 2000’s. But now, as boomers age and look for smaller housing options, he is worried about who might buy their homes.  “A major concern is that as boomers age, will there be enough people behind us willing to buy our homes?” Nelson said. He believes the answer to that concern is there probably will not be enough buyers, saying there are about 27-million boomers nationwide that will be selling homes between now and 2036. Nine-million of those sellers will not be able to find buyers, with thousands of them being right here in Tucson.  “So the seniors are going to have to sell the homes to syndicates that rent the homes, to renters, or in some cases, especially in the northern states, leave the homes and let them fall to the ground,” Nelson said. 

Although real estate experts say Tucson won’t be affected as much, there still is a small concern for older baby boomer homes that are 15 miles from downtown, that will take a little longer to sell. According to Nelson, the distance is a big issue. “Young families typically want to be a little closer in, closer to schools, shopping and so forth,” Nelson said. 

That’s why he recommends baby boomers sell soon, if they have a chance, and not be too greedy.   “Sell for a good price and leave…Take your time, sell, but don’t plan on making a lot of money. If you sell, it’ll be for a reasonable price, maybe less than what you paid for,” Nelson said.

The Case Against Electing A Baby Boomer As President In 2020

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We’ll start with a disclaimer. Blanket statements about entire generations don’t work. Not all Millenials like avocado toast and not all Boomers wrecked the economy. (Besides, generalizing about generations is a Boomer trait.)

With that said…Hey America, maybe let’s not elect a Baby Boomer in 2020?

Especially not a “leading edge” Boomer born in the first half of the generation like Donald Trump, George Bush Jr., and Bill Clinton (Barack Obama was born as a person of color at the tail end of the Boomer years, his experience of American life was clearly different from his generational cohorts). Maybe as the conversation around this next election ramps up, we listen to Pete Seeger’s famous hippie anthem “Turn, Turn, Turn!” and remind any older Boomers (or members of the Silent Generation) running for president that “to everything there is a season; and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Or, to be blunter, perhaps we take a phrase from the same book of the bible that Seeger borrowed his lyrics from and remind ourselves that: “One generation passeth away and another generation cometh.”

Not that we want the Boomers to passeth away. It’s just that they’ve controlled the presidency for 25 years running. They’ve had plenty of time to enact their agenda. It’s time for a new era of leaders to run things.

***

To understand why the world is so down on Baby Boomers right now — especially the first wave of post-WWII babies, born from 1946 to 1955, you have to look at the promises they made when they came of age in the late 60s, the wealth they cut corners to create in the 70s and 80s, the protections they gave themselves in the 90s, the tax burdens they dodged in the early 2000s, and the failed policies they kept in place since the George W. Bush administration — a 20-year-span when (in a generation-by-generation comparison) they controlled the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office.

Economically speaking, the once idealist, commune-dwelling Boomers have offered a 40-year masterclass in wealth capture. They decimated quality of living for the middle class (this will perhaps be their most lasting and haunting legacy) and increased the wealth gap dramatically, by feathering one hell of a nest for themselves. The corporations they took charge of lifted the 1% to oligarch-levels of income. They are on pace to withdraw more from Social Security than any generation ever, and yet — because of their tax-obsession during the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s (which came about because their parents began to die and they wanted to gobble up their windfalls without interference) they have contributed relatively little. They are the generation of leveraged buybacks, excess debt, and stock dividends — the sorts of financial tools that have helped turn our economy into a “get what you can now and let it burn later” system.

Speaking of letting it burn later, the Boomers wreaked absolute havoc on the environment. That drastic wealth creation? It came with an environmental cost. The rampant oil use, factory farming, and overall ecological corner-cutting are all part of what helped Boomers (and their parents) generate wealth at such a rapid pace. It’s ironic that Boomer icon Al Gore kickstarted the green revolution in 2007 with An Inconvenient Truth, and a shame that he didn’t call his own generation out for the policies they enacted to push us toward ecological collapse. Of course, Gore’s post-Oscar fiasco — with his huge electric bill coming to light and then being explained away with trite lines like “every family has a different carbon footprint” — is peak Boomerism. This is the “do as I say, not as I do” generation, full of people who believe that their lofty 60s ideals still deserve some sort of respect, though there is no empirical evidence to suggest that they kept their promises. Meanwhile, the true costs of climate change (which will be financially devastating) will be passed to future generations.

Twitter @sophxthompson

***

An interesting thing happened when Sean “Puffy” Combs (then called simply Diddy) went on Hardball with Chris Matthews to defend his Vote or Die campaign after the 2004 election, in which a Boomer — whose legacy is starting a war he couldn’t afford for reasons that didn’t pass muster — ultimately won. Matthews challenged Puff with a question about whether his efforts felt like a failure because John Kerry (who Matthews assumed Combs wanted to win) had lost. It felt like a big “gotcha” moment, but the rap mogul played it cool. “We got a million young people to vote with two candidates who didn’t speak to us or our issues and concerns. Just wait to see what happens when we find someone who will.”

This, ultimately is why the Donald Trump needs to be the last of the Boomer presidents. Because, as Trumpism makes so blatant: the Boomers have never been able to bring themselves to care about any generation but their own. Their failure to understand the true burdens they owe to the tax system, long-term macroeconomics (just look at what they’ve done to the GDP-to-debt ratio!), and the massive toll that their consumerism and financial single-mindedness will have on the country make them unfit to lead a generation that will absolutely have to deal with the fallout of these problems.

Theirs was a generation that was always told “your lives and your world will be better than the lives your parents had” — they are horribly ill-equipped to govern a generation who have had it drummed into their heads that “you’ll never have it as good as your folks did.”

***

Boomer selfishness is not endemic to the generation itself, of course. The generations before the Boomers benefitted from a world where being white and a male was (bar a few outliers) the only viable means of upward mobility. In fact, if we were making the case for Boomers, it would start with the Civil Rights movement and their efforts to break down the massive systems of white male supremacy that have plagued our nation since its inception. But even here — at the moment of their greatest success — the leading-edge Boomers didn’t go far enough. Just look at how incomes for people of color and women have stagnated over the past three decades. As an aggregate group, the most powerful members of the generation have acted like an 80s movie deadbeat dad, making big promises and then speeding off in a fancy car, leaving the rest of us (particularly minorities, the uneducated, and the lower middle class) to stare listlessly after them.

The big ideas of the 60s were indeed thrilling, but they were compromised or forgotten as white, male Boomers raced to accumulate wealth over the subsequent decades.

***

So if not the Boomers, then who? Tulsi Gabbard and Kamala Harris would bring brand new voices to the White House. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a vocal, passionate leader who understands the pressures put on her generation. Surely a certain degree of experience will be important for someone running against an incumbent president, but by 2020 that president will still only have four years as an elected official to his name in total. It speaks to our paucity of imagination that the names Democratic poll respondents came up with were all leading-edge Boomers or pre-Boomers that have already had plenty of time to make their imprint on the nation — Clinton, Biden, Sanders, Warren. The idea of our society trusting this group to change behaviors that they have shown literally no indication of changing over the course of two and a half decades with a complete stranglehold on the federal government is a sign of our own willingness to be charmed by the marches and speeches they made “back in the day.” Perhaps someone without elected experience, like late-boomer William H. McRaven, — who led the mission to kill Bin Laden — would offer a conciliatory middle ground if one is absolutely needed.

And here’s the thing: it very well might be needed. Because if Boomer’s inhabit the “American exceptionalism” that their appointed representatives always speak of in any one way, it’s this: They vote. Though they are no longer the largest demographic in the nation, yet they remain, far and away, the largest active voting block. And when they vote, they vote with their interests in mind, oblivious to the effects that their selfishness will have on future generations.

That is where to begin if we want to keep Boomers out of the White House in 2020: Be like them. Get involved and register to vote and, in doing so, to make our influence felt. Demand, as Puff Daddy did back in 2004, that candidates speak to our needs.

Of course, once in power, the onus will shift to a degree. Boomers will still have their hordes of gold and high-value houses (benefitting from a market that they artificially inflated and the treasury bonds that made them rich). What they do with those as they retire en masse is yet to be seen. Maybe with all their free time and disposable incomes they’ll begin to think about collective legacies and healing the world they were instrumental in breaking.

Meanwhile, Gen Xers and Millenials, once in power, will be faced with the same “short-term benefit vs long-term benefit” decisions that the Boomers failed to navigate. They’ll have to choose investment in America’s future over easy payouts. The Boomers won’t be off the hook, but it will officially be up to a new generation to decide how to navigate the world we’ve all inherited. Bring it on.

How to best educate baby boomer workers on retirement

Seventy-four million: That’s the estimated number of baby boomers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 66% of baby boomers are working past traditional retirement ages for a variety of reasons. Some feel they can’t afford to retire, particularly with the looming high costs of healthcare; others may choose to work longer to keep their brains active or because they fear the adjustment to a less structured lifestyle.

Older workers approaching full retirement age (which varies, depending on when they were born) where they can begin receiving 100% of Social Security, face some daunting decisions about Medicare, Social Security and retirement plans such as health savings accounts and 401(k)s — unchartered territory until this point in their lives. There are specific rules about contributions and withdrawals in retirement, and employers should help with the education process. Here are three ways to do so.

Break down the HSA rules from a retiree perspective. If you offer HSAs to your employees, it’s important they understand how HSAs work with Medicare: The IRS dictates that a person can’t contribute to an HSA if they’re enrolled in part of Medicare (Part A, Part D, etc.) However, they can draw on funds already in the account to pay for qualified medical expenses and premiums for Medicare Parts B, C and D (but generally not Medicare supplement plans or Medigap insurance premiums).


Importantly, your employees may be penalized for delaying Medicare, depending on the number of employees you have and whether you have group health insurance. These requirements may not be well known by your employees and should be communicated clearly.

Of course, because Medicare, Social Security and any retirement plans involve several layers of government rules and financial regulations, there are some tricky issues your employees need to know about. One is retirement “back pay.”

When employees sign up for Social Security at least six months beyond the full retirement age, they’ll receive six months of retirement benefit back pay. This is problematic if your employees contributed to their HSAs over the previous six months — they are liable for tax penalties on HSAs. Create an education strategy that includes this information for employees looking to retire, so that they can stop contributing to their HSA six months before retirement and avoid costly mistakes.

Help employees understand how all their benefits work together. Your employees have contributed their knowledge and skills to you; it’s important to help them understand their options as they work toward retirement. For those just a few years out from retirement, your education plan may include helping employees understand eligibility requirements for both Social Security and Medicare, as well as any penalties that might arise from applying late to Medicare.

See also: With little saved, employers and aging employees share same fear: Can retirement happen?

As your employees age, they are also eligible to contribute “catch-up” funds to HSAs, IRAs and 401(k)s in preparation for retirement. Your 401(k) partners and financial wellness resources can help employees assess their financial situations and prepare for retirement. For example, it’s a good idea to encourage employees who may have multiple 401(k) plans to consolidate them into one — this will make it easier to manage when they retire. They may ultimately roll these into an IRA to access additional investment options.

Maintain a focus on wellness. If you have a wellness program in place, take measures to boost participation and steer employees, especially older participants, toward healthy habits to help them live well and be productive leading up to retirement.

Wellness may extend outside of physical, emotional and mental wellness to professional development. Help them improve their retirement outlook by keeping job skills up to date so they are better prepared if they need to take on other employment to supplement their retirement.

For anyone nearing retirement age it’s a good idea to become acquainted with “Medicare and You,” the government’s official Medicare handbook. While each employee’s situation will differ, there’s no doubt that planning and education are key to a successful retirement strategy and, as an employer, you can support these efforts.


Loretta Metzger

Loretta Metzger

Loretta Metzger is a benefits consultant at Corporate Synergies.

Millennials, Baby Boomers to Fuel Historic Economic Expansion

Millennials, Baby Boomers to Fuel Historic Economic Expansion

$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $RUTX, $VXX

Monday, investment guru Ed Yardeni predicted millennials and baby boomers will help the US achieve its greatest economic expansion in history.

“They the baby boomers are increasingly becoming minimalists. They are trading down in terms of houses that they want to live in,

“At the same time, we’ve got millennials who are also minimalists,” he added. “Many prefer to rent and stay in the city, and not buy houses, and not even buy cars.”

Mr. Yardeni explained that the weaker spending should actually be considered a Bullish factor, because it helps prevent the US economy from overheating.

“Put it all together and you’ve got an economy that continues to grow led by consumer spending, but not in a fashion that suggests that a boom is going to lead to inflation, and a Fed reaction that leads to a bust,” he said. “So, all in all, I put it together as still a very favorable environment for stocks.”

Mr. Yardeni also has not been swayed by contagion fears sparked by Turkey’s economic crisis and global trade disputes.

“This all creates a lot of commotion on a global basis. It kind of makes the US look like an island of serenity, all things considered. I think this really favors investing in the US, as opposed to investing on a global basis,” he said.

“The earnings picture really has been phenomenally strong. I’ve been Bullish on earnings, and they coming in even stronger than I expected,” he noted.

“What the stock market cares about most is the business cycle,” Mr. Yardeni said. “As long as investors perceive that the US economy can continue to grow without a risk of recession, you get a Bull market.

Monday, the major US stock market indexes came in at: DJIA -125.44 at 25187.70, NAS Comp -19.40 at 7819.72, S&P 500 -11.35 at 2821.67

Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at 726-M/shares exchanged

  • NAS Comp +13.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +9.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 +5.6% YTD
  • DJIA+1.9% YTD

Overall HeffX-LTN is Neutral to Bullish this market now.

Stay tuned…

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Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

Millennials, baby boomers to help U.S. ink economic milestone: Yardeni

Wall Street veteran Edward Yardeni sees two key demographics giving stocks a boost now through at least next year: Millennials and baby boomers.

Trading Nation” on Friday.

“At the same time, we’ve got millennials who are also minimalists,” he added. “Many prefer to rent and stay in the City, and not buy houses, and not even buy cars.”

Less spending may seem counterintuitive, since spending accounts for around 2/3 of U.S. economic activity. However, Yardeni contended it’s bullish, because it helps prevent the U.S. economy from overheating.

“Put it all together and you’ve got an economy that continues to grow led by consumer spending, but not in a fashion that suggests that a boom is going to lead to inflation, and a Fed reaction that leads to a bust,” he said. “So, all in all, I put it together as still a very favorable environment for stocks.”

His thoughts came as the S&P 500 Index was logging its worst day of August. The drop came amid President Donald Trump’s decision to double the size of metal tariffs on Turkey, which created a currency crash there.

Still, Yardeni isn’t letting the latest geopolitical developments affect his bullish case.

“This all creates a lot of commotion on a global basis. It kind of makes the U.S. look like an island of serenity, all things considered. I think this really favors investing in the U.S. as opposed to investing on a global basis,” he said.

Yardeni has been one of the street’s most consistent bulls — turning positive a few days after the S&P 500 hit an intraday low of 666 on March 6, 2009. He sees no reason to start getting bearish now: Yardeni is maintaining his year-end price target of 3100, a 9 percent gain from current levels.

“The earnings picture really has been phenomenally strong. I’ve been bullish on earnings, and it’s coming in even stronger than I expected,” he noted.

And, if the economy continues to grow, next July will mark the country’s longest expansion in history — a milestone he believes is within reach.

“What the stock market cares about most is the business cycle,” Yardeni said. “As long as investors perceive that the U.S. economy can continue to grow without a risk of recession, you get a bull market.

Cannabis as medicine? More and more Baby Boomers think so


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{#Baby Boomers turning to cannabis as a medicine#}

While Millennials and Gen-Xers make up a good chunk of the cannabis market, Baby Boomers are consuming marijuana more frequently than ever before, according to a report published in June.

Marijuana demographics

According to the study examining patterns of cannabis consumption among Americans aged 50 and older, use increased more than 70 percent between 2006 and 2013. The data also revealed that “a larger proportion of adults in the older adult population used marijuana medicinally in contrast to recreational use.”

The review of demographic data compiled between 2000-2017 and analyzed by a team of researchers from the University of Florida was published in the journal Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine..

Baby Boomers came of age in Age of Aquarius. If you were born between the years of 1945 and 1964, chances are you wore bell-bottoms, watched the Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and heard Timothy Leary urge his acolytes to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”

The familiarity of marijuana – especially among soldiers returning from the Vietnam War – was at its peak. Because of this historic connection, most Boomers simply do not perceive cannabis use as a major health risk. According to the report, 75 percent of older Americans believe regular consumption has no risk or a slight risk.

The study concluded that “the greatest increase in marijuana use was observed among those in the older adult population 50 years or older, and those 65 years or older had the greatest increase in marijuana use among all older users.”

Marijuana use by age group – 50 and up

Past-year prevalence of marijuana use ranged from 5.6 percent to 9.1 percent among those 50 to 64 years old and 1.3 percent to 2.0 percent among those 65 years or older. The analysis determined that past-year marijuana use by age group, among those 50 to 64 years old increased 10.1 percent annually, and past-year marijuana use among those 65 years or older increased 15.3 percent annually. Prevalence is higher among marijuana users in the 50 to 64 age group; however, the largest increase in use has been found among those 65 years or older.

In another study, it was revealed that cannabis was so effective as a treatment for age-related illnesses that nine out of 10 of seniors recommend it to friends. According to Dr. Diana Martins-Welch, co-author of the study, “the impact of medical marijuana was overwhelmingly positive. Medical marijuana led them to taking less medications overall — opioids and non-opioids — and they had better function and better quality of life.”

Dr. Martins-Welch’s research demonstrates that older cannabis consumers are wary of unwanted side effects, preferring to treat their conditions with low-dose marijuana products. “A lot of people don’t like feeling sleepy,” she said. For Baby Boomers, “the goal with [cannabis] is to find the dose that gives a therapeutic benefit without a high, or slowing reaction time or causing sedation,” Martins-Welch said. “To find that right dose, we start low and go slow.”

The report found roughly half of the seniors sought medical assistance and received a doctor’s medical marijuana recommendation. About 25 percent were introduced to cannabis at the urging of a family member or friend.

When asked how effective cannabis was in reducing pain levels, the seniors reported vast improvement, going from a 9 (on a pain scale of zero to 10) down to 5.6 a month after starting a regimen including cannabis.

What Age Group Uses Marijuana The Most?

“The geriatric population is my fastest-growing patient population. With medical marijuana, I’m taking more patients off opioids,” Dr. Mark Wallace, a board member of the American Pain Society, told WebMD. “There’s never been a reported death from medical marijuana, yet there are 19,000 deaths a year from prescription opioids. Medical cannabis is probably safer than a lot of drugs we give,” Wallace added.

Greenlight Approved is a consumer education platform dedicated to “guiding the cannabis curious.” We believe when you start something new, it’s best to start slow. Gather all the information you can to make a safe informed decision. Let Greenlight Approved be your guide so your first experience with cannabis is an educated, safe and positive one. Let us be your resource and guide to participating retailers near you, at www.greenlightapproved.com.

Greenlight Approved is a guide for the cannabis curious, which includes a compendium of helpful information matching up health symptoms like joint pain with a cannabis product in their online conditions and symptoms guide, for example. Better yet, the symptoms guide will also suggest several cannabis consumption and ingestion options based on personal preference. The site also incorporates detailed information including references to clinical studies regarding how the THC and CBD found in cannabis work in the body to relieve pain.

Baby boomers still influence housing markets

They are the generation that changed the world and even though the leading edge of the generation has passed the 70-years-old mark, they’re not going away soon, says the Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey.

“Don’t count them out yet – baby boomers will impact Canada’s housing market in a big way in the coming years, as another 1.4 million of this large demographic are expected to sell and buy real estate between now and 2023,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “While the wave of older consumers will increase competition for condominium property in particular, there is no single type of home that boomers will be investing in.

“Our research does indicate that smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment than major cities. This large segment of the population views our big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.”

Baby boomers’ children will affect their decisions.

The survey found that 44 percent of boomers across Canada with children still at home expect them to move out between the ages of 21 and 25, while 21 percent expect them to leave between the ages of 26 and 30. A further 18 percent expect the kids to move out after the age of 30, with nine percent saying they expect them to leave after the age of 35.

“Our 2017 research into the largest group of first-time home buyers in Canada, which we call the Peak Millennials, showed many were roosting in the family nest well beyond the traditional age of exit,” said Soper. “With this work, we have confirmed that boomers are allowing children to reside at home well into adulthood. Yet they won’t stay forever, and when they go, the folks are going condo shopping.”

Boomers in Alberta prefer to stay in their homes and renovate rather than move to a new home, with 19 percent planning to buy a new home in the next five years, while 58 percent would prefer to improve their current home than move.

Those plans may change as the children leave home and retirement approaches.

The Royal LePage survey says 44 percent of respondents plan to move into a smaller home in their golden years. Meanwhile, 31 percent said they would consider downsizing when their children leave home. Fifty percent of Albertans, with children at home, expect them to move out by the time they turn 25 years old. Forty-five percent of those Albertans looking to downsize would consider a condominium for their next purchase.

“Boomers in Alberta vary between those who are quite affluent and those who are still working as a means of supporting themselves. Many of them are staying in their jobs longer than we previously expected,” said John Hripko, agent, Royal LePage Benchmark in Calgary. “Boomers with a financial surplus are choosing to stay in their larger homes for longer, but they’re also increasingly deciding to help their children put a downpayment on their first homes.”

Should Baby Boomers get a property tax break to move? The pros and cons of Prop. 5.

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Would it be a merciful end to the “moving penalty” or a giveaway to rich homeowners and real estate agents?

Proposition 5, which California voters will decide on this November, allows homeowners age 55 and up to receive a major break on their property taxes when they move homes. Sponsored by the California Association of Realtors, the initiative attempts to address a problem familiar to many Californians of a certain age: You want to move from your empty nest, but you’re scared of the new taxes you’d have to pay on a downsized property.

That dilemma is a byproduct of Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that capped how much local governments can levy homeowners on escalating home values. If you bought your home in 1988, you’re still paying property taxes based of the value of your home when the Soviet Union was still in existence. It’s a pretty great deal. But try to move into a different—and invariably more expensive—home at today’s prices, and your property taxes will jump dramatically. Those property tax bills could be tough for older homeowners on fixed incomes to afford.

“These are largely larger family homes,” said Steve White, president of the Realtors association. “If these folks were able to sell, then folks in (younger) generations would be able to purchase.”

The Realtors argue that Prop. 5 will induce more senior homeowners to sell their homes and buy new ones. Obviously that’s good for their commissions. But beyond allowing older homeowners to perhaps move closer to their children, the Realtors argue it would bring a flood of new homes to the market perfect for younger households starting their families.

Prop. 5 is opposed by local governments and public employee unions such as teachers and firefighters, who say the initiative is a costly giveaway to wealthy homeowners and the real estate industry. There are plenty of property tax protections already in place for senior homeowners who truly want to downsize. Because of a similar proposition passed decades ago, homeowners age 55 and up can buy a new home of equal or lesser value to their current property anywhere in their own county and retain their Prop. 13 property tax savings. Prop. 5 would allow senior homeowners to buy more expensive homes anywhere in California and still get a large tax break.

“What the real estate industry is really trying to do with this measure is turn the market and drive up prices so their end profit is really to their benefit,” said Dorothy Johnson, an advocate for the California State Association of Counties, which oppose the measure.

The Realtors could not have been pleased with the analysis Prop. 5 received from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, which voters will see included in their sample ballots this fall. It concludes that Prop. 5 would eventually costs local governments and schools $2 billion a year in revenue, and that the vast majority of Baby Boomers who would benefit from the initiative were likely going to move anyway. In other words, the initiative was not likely to induce a lot of people to move or result in lower home prices.

That’s partly why the Realtors have pursued a somewhat odd political strategy—while pushing for Prop. 5’s passage this fall, they’re already planning to put a very similar initiative on the ballot in 2020. That initiative would provide the same property tax breaks for older homeowners, but would also close some Prop. 13 loopholes to lessen the cost on local governments.

In this episode of Gimme Shelter,  Matt and Liam delve into the politics and policy of Prop 5. They interview Steve White, president of California Association of Realtors, and Dorothy Johnson, an advocate for the California State Association of Counties.