30 Scary Stats That Show Baby Boomers Are Not Ready for Retirement – Equities.com

By 2050, the number of Americans entering retirement age is expected to more than double to 89 million from the current 40 million. The problem is that more than 25% of this population has little to no savings at all. Factor in that life expectancy is continuing to increase with modern medicine, and it creates a scary picture in which a significant portion of the country’s population won’t have the financial wherewithal to live comfortably in their senior years.

In fact, 70 percent of all American workers expect to continue working once they are “retired”, while 40 percent of all Baby Boomers plan to work “until they drop”. If these statistics shock you, don’t worry, because there’s a lot more where that came from. Luckily, the people at KD SmartChair put all these alarmingly distressing facts into a visually charming and easily digestible infographic below. After you’ve taken some time to casually peruse through the cute images and big numbers, it’s probably a good idea to get your retirement plan in gear if you haven’t already. Unless of course you’re not among the 88% of all Americans worried about “maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement,” or the American workers who are collectively short $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Amedisys Poised To Help Baby Boomers 'Age In Place' – Investor's Business Daily

“Aging in place” is the mantra of Baby Boomers hoping to live out their senior years at home, and Amedisys (AMED) is looking to play a role in realizing that.

A home health care provider, Amedisys offers home nursing and rehab, life assistance and hospice services. And it’s growing organically and via acquisitions, while boosting its quality-of-care ratings. These ratings, put into place by Medicare last year, will have a dramatic impact on the health care services market in the next few years, according to Amedisys and market analysts.

“We think health care is really changing; home health is a lower-cost care option,” Brian Tanquilut, analyst with Jefferies LLC, told Investor’s Business Daily. “We’re very bullish on Amedisys; It’s the biggest in the space of the pure-play, publicly traded home health care companies.”

NAch-AMED-041816He’s rated Amedisys a buy.

“Home health care will be an ultimate winner” of the move to aging in place, Frank Morgan, an RBC Capital Markets analyst, told IBD.

Bigger Will Be Better

Bigger players can invest in the computer systems and overall size to gain efficiency and improve performance. Paul Kusserow, Amedisys’ chief executive, spoke with IBD and says home health care is a “highly fragmented market and it will continue to consolidate.”

The company has already closed two acquisitions this year — Associated Home Care for $28 million and Infinity HomeCare for $63 million.

“We have a phenomenal balance sheet,” Kusserow said. “We’ve been paying largely cash for our acquisitions.”

He says the company is in dialogues with “20 to 30” companies for possible acquisitions.

“They have a lot of firepower to do deals,” said Tanquilut. “Bigger providers have the ability to scale, to train and to invest in (information technology).”

“Star ratings and Medicare reimbursement dollars are being tied to outcomes and that favors the bigger, more sophisticated players,” David MacDonald, an analyst with Suntrust Robinson Humphrey, told IBD. He rates Amedisys a buy.

Two other companies specialize in home healthcare, LHC Group (LHCG) and Almost Family (AFAM). Large health care companies also have moved into the home health care space as well, including Kindred Healthcare (KND) and HealthSouth (HLS), which both acquired companies in the space.

Morgan said: “There’s a huge consolidation opportunity, as increasing regulatory and quality requirements will cause mom-and-pop companies to exit the business.”

He has a market perform rating on Amedisys.

The Importance Of Tech

Amedisys also is focused on gaining efficiencies through the adoption of a new patient care information technology system, called HomeCare Homebase. The software company of the same name is part of Hearst Corp.’s health network.

“We’re all in on this” tech project, said Kusserow, saying the whole company will be on it by the end of October.

“We’re going to do it in a little over a year,” even though the company initially predicted it would take two years, he said.

“We think we’ll be able to deliver $40 million to $50 million in savings with this system — we’ve said this to Wall Street,”  he said. Kusserow added that Amedisys has been running its business on three different software systems, which he says is “very inefficient.”

Tanquilut is convinced: “The new (tech) system will improve quality.”

The company sees more than 35,000 patients a day. Kusserow says the new cloud computing software, which stores records remotely, will allow care providers to use tablets instead of expensive laptops. And he says it enables “better documentation, better reporting, and better, more-efficient staffing.” He says it’s also tightly coupled with billing and will improve the accounts receivable process.

That’s a plus, but Amedisys already is producing some enviable numbers. Its net income for its fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2015, was $13.1 million, up 41% from $9.3 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings rose 36% to 38 cents per share from 28 cents in 2014’s fourth quarter.

Total service revenue for the fourth quarter grew roughly 13% to $338.4 million versus $300.5 million in the year-ago period. For the full year, total revenue grew 6.7% to $1.28 billion from $1.20 billion in 2014.

Zack’s puts Amedisys’ first-quarter 2016 earnings at 34 cents a share and full-year 2016 earnings at $1.75 per share.

Amedisys traded at around 13 back in June 2014, but closed above 30 by March 2015 and rose above 48 by August 2015. Amedisys hit a new intraday 52-week high of 49.50 on Monday.

Pay For Performance

And margins for high-quality providers should improve with the government’s move to ratings and pay-for-performance.

“In 2018, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) will begin determining percentage bonuses and billing cuts for home health in nine states, based on a number of metrics,” said Tanquilut. “Providers in the top bucket in these states will get a bonus of plus 3% on their billing starting in 2018 — minus 3% for those with the worst performance — and by 2022 it goes to plus/minus 8%. So quality will matter.”

Kusserow said: “By moving to quality it creates differentiation. So we’re behind this change.”

CMS is also rating providers now, and Amedisys’ initial score from the government in 2015 was 3.49 out of 5 possible stars. But Kusserow says 30% of its centers achieved 4.0-plus stars.

BOX041816“Our objective is by 2017 all our care centers will be at 4.0 and above,” he said.

Employee Retention

That means making sure all of its roughly 14,000 employees are focused on providing high-quality care. Shortly after Kusserow joined Amedisys at the end of 2014, he brought over Larry Pernosky, a human resources executive from Humana (HUM), where Kusserow had been a senior executive.

One of Pernosky’s missions has been to drive down turnover rates. Amedisys’ rate dropped to 29.3% in 2015 from 32.2% in 2014.

“We hope to get to 25% by the end of 2016 and below 20% by the end of 2017,” said Kusserow.

Additionally, Amedisys tracks its own metric for patient care “with engagement scores.”

Even Kusserow’s pay package is partially determined by turnover rates and engagement scores.

“We take this very seriously and everyone is incentivized around quality,” he said.

Baby Boomers experienced huge shifts in ag – Iowa Farmer Today

EVERLY — Spring is losing this battle with Old Man Winter as strong northwest winds whip Keith Kruse’s jacket.

“We’re more than ready for it to warm up,” he says as he walks toward his 1976 John Deere 4430 tractor.

“That’s the first tractor I bought on my own,” Kruse explains. “It’s pretty dirty, but it’s a good tractor.”

This marks the 40th year of farming for the Northwest Iowa man, who returned home full time after getting his farm operations degree from Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg.

“Forty years. I guess that’s right,” Kruse says. “I learned how to drive when I was a kid on a John Deere A, and we used a four-row planter. We went from picking ear corn to having everything combined. A lot has changed.”

Kruse and his wife, Joyce, farm near here in Clay County. Their son, Javan, is also involved in the grain and hog operation.

“I rented an 80 near my parents when I got out of school, and Dad decided to expand our hog operation at that time,” he says. “We built a farrowing and nursery building and started growing.”

Over time, Kruse slowly increased his crop acres and hog operation. In 1998, he and other farmers partnered on a sow unit southeast of Spencer, and today, he and his son own it with their partner, Bob Donahue.

Keith and Javan market about 18,000 hogs annually, in addition to growing corn, soybeans and a few oats.

As new technology emerged, Kruse says he looked to put it to use on his farm.

“We embraced technology as we could afford it,” he says with a grin.

Many of those changes include improvements in machinery and efficiency.

“Everything is electronic, like yield mapping and controlling hog buildings,” he says. “We can utilize the liquid manure from our buildings and inject it where it’s needed.

“In most ways, it’s much easier to farm today than it was when I was growing up, or when I started.”

50 years of change

The influence of the Baby Boomer generation on agriculture has been remarkable, says Paul Lasley, Extension sociologist with Iowa State University.

Not only have those born from 1946 to 1964 contributed to a wide variety of innovations, but Lasley says his generation has taken those innovations and made them work.

“That first wave of Baby Boomers is turning 70 this year, and just think about all they have seen,” he says. “If you assume an average starting age of 20, that first group has been farming for 50 years. They have experienced so much in that time.”

Lasley says Baby Boomer farmers have lived through several significant events, including a boom in land prices triggered by the Russian grain deal in the 1970s, the farm crisis of the mid-1980s and a robust farm economy over the last five years.

“They really have seen the best of times and maybe the worst of times,” he says.

According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, roughly 28 percent of Iowa’s farmers are between the ages of 55 and 64, with another 17 percent ages 65 to 74.

“Almost half of our farmers would be considered Baby Boomers,” Lasley says. “That’s pretty remarkable.”

It would be impossible to list all the changes in farm machinery, livestock, agronomy, economics and anything else associated with agriculture, he says.

Lasley says in the mid-1960s, John Deere stopped making the two-cylinder tractor. Around that time, the moldboard plow gave way to new tillage equipment.

“We saw many advances in machinery after World War II, when these farm kids starting coming back from the war with all the new ideas they had seen,” he says. “It really started the demise of general farming and pushed us into specialization.”

The boom in technological advances has made farmers more efficient. Yields have increased dramatically. Hogs are raised indoors and fed ethanol co-products.

But along with those changes, Lasley says agriculture is losing a vital resource.

“Those Baby Boomer farmers have so much knowledge and so much experience, and as some of them start to retire or approach retirement, we are losing so much,” he says. “They learned how to work while growing up, and they taught that work ethic to their children. We grew up knowing the value of hard work, thrift and ingenuity. It’s important that we take advantage of their experience.”

Kruse says very little about his profession remains the same as it was when he started farming.

Hogs are raised indoors and to heavier weights. Crop yields have doubled. Machinery has lessened the physical toll on farmers. He knows things will continue to change, and his son may have the same perspective after four decades on the farm.

“You always heard about the things you might see in the future, but you weren’t sure if it would actually come about,” Kruse says.

“But it’s here. We have all this new technology that makes us better farmers.

“I like it. I don’t want to go back to how things used to be.”

Baby Boomers driving demand for second homes – ConsumerAffairs

PhotoThe U.S. real estate market appears strong, with tight inventories driving home prices higher in most markets.

And it’s not just primary residences that are in growing demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports sales of vacation homes – while down in 2015 from the year before, are nonetheless on a red hot pace.

In fact, the Realtors’ group says the median sales price of both vacation and investment properties surged last year, though the number of sales declined from the previous year.

As they have done throughout their adult lives, Baby Boomers are driving this trend.

Boomers propel demand

“Baby boomers at or near retirement continue to propel the demand for second homes, although headwinds softened the overall volume of vacation sales last year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a release.

Yun says there are more buyers competing for a dwindling number of bargain-priced properties. This tighter supply in the face of rising demand may have resulted in fewer sales, but the homes that did sell sold at a premium.

Perhaps because of the popularity of cable TV shows about home “flipping,” sales of investment homes posted a significant increase in 2015, rising from 1.02 million to 1.09 million, a 7% gain. The numbers represent purchases by individual buyers, excluding institutional investors.

Yun says vacation home sales have helped Florida recover from the housing debacle of the last decade, since the bulk of vacation home sales are occurring in the south.

The downside, says Yun, is that the significant run up in price has probably squeezed out less affluent buyers looking for a vacation home.

Seeking rental income

Meanwhile, the trend in investment property is shifting away from flipping and more toward income.

“Steadily increasing home prices and strong rental demand appear to be giving more individual investors assurance that purchasing real estate will diversify their portfolios and generate additional income if they decide to rent out the home,” Yun said.

The NAR survey shows the median investment home buyer last year had a household income of $95,800, and most bought a detached single-family home not far from where they lived.

Forty-two percent of buyers said they made the move to gain rental income. Only 14% cited price appreciation as a main reason for the investment.

Poll explores chasm between baby boomers and millennials – wlfi.com

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A national poll conducted by Purdue University’s Institute for Civic Communication found millennials — Americans born between 1980 and 1998 — are expected to be the largest voting bloc in this year’s presidential election.

The survey, conducted among 1,001 adults ages 18 and older, was made up from questions created by students from the institute.

It also found that 68 percent of baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — said they were worried about leaving governance of the nation to millennials.

Earl Bercot, a baby boomer, said he disagrees.

“I don’t think it’s an age group,” Bercot said. “I think it’s values. There can be people in their 90s that are wise or stupid, and there could be millennials who are very stupid or very wise. I don’t think it’s a matter of what generation you’re born in.”

Purdue student Alexandria Garner said, “I don’t think it’ll be a problem. My mom’s a baby boomer, and so they’re the ones who raised us. So I think it would be fine. Don’t worry guys!”

The survey found younger Americans — as a demographic — think the federal budget should spend more on education and environmental protection, while those 50 and older want more spending on infrastructure and defense.

The poll found 70 percent of millennials intend on voting this year.

Click here for more poll results.

Baby boomers, are you fit for everyday life? – Chicago Tribune

Old age isn’t what it used to be.

“Our expectations have changed from dying at 75 to living well into our 90s and even to 100,” says Robin Robertson, a gym owner and trainer in Bellingham, Wash., who specializes in fitness for those 55 and older. “We could all use tips on how to make those years healthy and vibrant rather than burdensome.”

Between 1980 and 2010, the number of 100-year-olds increased 66 percent. Baby boomers are now ages 52 to 70. By 2029, more than 20 percent of Americans will be over 65.


It’s not how long we will live, but how well.

The key is maintaining functional fitness, says Dan Ritchie, who, in 2013, co-founded Functional Aging Institute, a business that teaches fitness professionals how to train mature clients. Functional fitness means movements that help you in everyday life. Think cross-body and full-body motions, bending or picking something up off the floor. The goal is to build a body capable of real-life activities.

“This has huge implications for older adults,” says Ritchie. “What do you need to do, want to do or dream of doing? You need to get groceries, empty a dishwasher, clean your house. You want to hike, cycle or play with grandchildren. Not everybody dreams of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at 70, but whatever you dream of, it will require functional abilities.”

How to make your later years robust and independent?

Exercise. Find activities you love, and do them several times per week. Incorporate strength-training and cardio.

Low-impact activity is kind to joints and promotes longevity, says Robertson, a USA Cycling Coach and author of “Healthy & Fit Body.” “We can beef up our joints through muscle and ligament strengthening. Cycling does this without impact or lateral movement.”

Lose excess weight. An overweight woman who drops as little as 11 pounds reduces the chance of getting arthritis in her knees by 50 percent. Ten pounds of excess body weight delivers an extra 20 to 30 pounds of stress to your knees with every step.

Change your view of aging. Aging isn’t bad; it’s natural. Think of the positives, Ritchie says: You don’t do the stupid stuff you did when you were 25; you can enjoy grandchildren; and you can focus on what’s important to you, such as charities or volunteering.

Take responsibility. You control exercise, eating, stress, sleep. Is your trajectory of aging leading to frailty or independence?

It’s never too late to start, Ritchie says. “But that doesn’t mean you should wait! We can get you fit at 60, but if you’ve taken care of yourself from 50 to 60, it’s a whole lot easier.”

Ritchie tells this story:

“A 79-year-old came to us last year. He wanted to hike Son Doong Cave in Vietnam with his son-in-law and grandson. It’s one of the largest caves in the world, and you get to its entrance via a six-hour hike through virgin jungle. If you don’t do well on the jungle hike, tour operators don’t let you go into the cave. This 79-year-old was fit but lacked balance and coordination, so we helped him train to achieve it before the trip.

“When they arrived at the cave entrance, the 79-year-old did not go into the cave. But it wasn’t him; it was the lack of fitness in his 49-year-old son-in-law. The younger man had struggled with shortness of breath on the hike, and his father-in-law wouldn’t go in without him.

“It wasn’t age; it was functional capacity.”

Functional fitness supports life’s activities, including strength and balance. Instead of using a weight machine that works one motion in one plane, seek complex training movements that engage multiple joints, Robertson advises. Stay fit enough to get out of a chair without using the chair arms.

“If we don’t stay active, we lose muscle,” she says. “If we get weaker, we become vulnerable to injury. If we get injured, we lose motivation to do what we used to enjoy. Fear of falling is huge as we get older.”

Robertson regularly sees clients use diet and exercise to reduce or eliminate medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and employ strength training to avoid or delay knee or hip replacement.

Others improve quality of life. Husband and wife Mike Addison, 72, and Marcela Berg, 79, who moved to Bellingham in 2014, built a no-ledge shower in their home because they anticipated future entry via wheelchair. At that time, Marcela wouldn’t shower without Mike in the room, in case she fell. She expected leg strength and balance to lessen further as she aged. “I thought I’d be on a slow downhill slide. But it didn’t happen that way, because I joined this gym! Now I walk to the bathroom and take a shower by myself.”

Marcela used to clutch Mike’s arm as she shuffled into the gym. After nine months of functional training, she regained the ability to walk confidently alone. She can do squats, and lift both arms straight overhead, abilities that had deteriorated. Marcela says frequent social events at this facility add an emotional lift. “All of it comes together to maintain quality of life.”

Mike credits the success of his 2015 knee replacement to exercise. Now post-surgery, he can perform deep squats and walk 5 miles without fatigue. At one point, he and a similar-age friend were loading wood. “He couldn’t lift it, but I lifted the wood, no problem. And he’s bigger than I am! That encourages me to continue exercising.”

The number of Americans 62 and older is growing, with most of the increase expected by 2030. Plus, Americans ages 62-plus have a net worth 40 percent higher than that age group did 25 years ago. “There’s a gigantic need for fitness,” Ritchie says. “They don’t want to get old and wait to die. They want to go on adventures, live life to the fullest. And they can afford to — if they have the functional capacity. That’s key.”

Cheryl Stritzel McCarthy is a freelance writer.


Group walking is a boon for the body and mind

To eat or not to eat: The science behind running on empty

Older athletes show no signs of slowing down

Baby boomers often unaware they need hepatitis C screening – Reuters

In a survey of 81 emergency room patients born during the “baby boom” from 1945 to 1965, only 29 percent of participants knew their risk for the virus was higher than for people born in earlier or later generations, the study found.

“Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than those groups born before or after this period,” said senior study author Dr. Ellie Carmody, an infectious disease researcher at New York University School of Medicine.

Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who isn’t infected. These days, most people infected with the virus get it from sharing needles or equipment to inject drugs, but it can also be transmitted during sex, and until a test for it was developed in the early 1990s, people could acquire hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

“Because hepatitis C does not cause symptoms until many years after the original infection, baby boomers may have been infected decades ago and be unaware of their infection,” Carmody added by email. “The longer people live with chronic hepatitis C, the more likely they are to develop complications.”

To see how well baby boomers understand the virus, Carmody and colleagues asked a sampling of patients treated at one New York Hospital to complete brief surveys quizzing them about the virus.

Most people surveyed knew hepatitis C could lead to liver failure or cancer and be transmitted during sex or from blood transfusions. But most of them also incorrectly assumed the virus could be spread by kissing or shaking hands.

Only 17 percent correctly noted that there’s no vaccine that can prevent people from getting the virus, researchers report in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Just 51 percent of respondents knew that hepatitis C can be cured, even though 77 percent correctly said new medicines have become available in recent years that make the virus easier to treat.

Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that not all patients answered every question on the survey, the authors note. In addition, more than half were not born in the U.S. and 69 percent had a high school diploma level of education or less, so the sample may not represent the wider population of baby boomers.

Nevertheless, emergency departments have become an important setting for early detection of infectious diseases and could be a good place for hepatitis screening, the authors write.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C at least once as part of their standard medical care.

Testing is the only way to detect hepatitis C in many people who have the virus but don’t feel sick, said Dr. Alexander Millman, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis.

“Hepatitis C infection can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, liver cancer, or death,” Millman, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States,” Millman added.

SOURCE: bit.ly/207HUKf The Journal of Emergency Medicine, online March 4, 2016.

Tourism jobs in Parksville Qualicum Beach aimed at baby boomers – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

The Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association held its AGM at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station on March 31. The 2016-2017 board of directors: Back Row: Kim Burden (Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce), ex-officio director; Noel Hayward (Qualicum Beach Inn/Quality Foods), director; Angela Hinz (Shorewater Resort/Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce), director; Rob Hill (Oceanside Village Resort), treasurer; Patrick Jiggins (Paradise Sea Shell Motel/Arrowsmith Golf), director; Bill Luchtmeijer (Town of Qualicum Beach), council liaison; and Paul Drummond (Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre), director. Front Row: Sandy Herle (Close to You), chair; Mary Beil (City of Parksville) council liaison; Beth Ross (bDigital/Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce), director; and Arthur Wong (Beach Club Resort) vice-chair. - LAUREN COLLINS PHOTO

The Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association held its AGM at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station on March 31. The 2016-2017 board of directors: Back Row: Kim Burden (Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce), ex-officio director; Noel Hayward (Qualicum Beach Inn/Quality Foods), director; Angela Hinz (Shorewater Resort/Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce), director; Rob Hill (Oceanside Village Resort), treasurer; Patrick Jiggins (Paradise Sea Shell Motel/Arrowsmith Golf), director; Bill Luchtmeijer (Town of Qualicum Beach), council liaison; and Paul Drummond (Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre), director. Front Row: Sandy Herle (Close to You), chair; Mary Beil (City of Parksville) council liaison; Beth Ross (bDigital/Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce), director; and Arthur Wong (Beach Club Resort) vice-chair.

— image credit: LAUREN COLLINS PHOTO

The Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association is hoping to incorporate more baby boomers into the local tourism workforce.

On March 31, the association held a workshop on hiring and retaining baby boomers for tourism business employers.

The tourism association’s executive director Blain Sepos said, although the turnout was less than what they’d hoped for, it won’t stop them from offering the workshop again.

Sepos added that employers who did attend got “some great insight into how to market and tailor positions to older workers.”

Cheryl Dill said the workshop talked to employers about considering baby boomers in jobs where an older worker may not always be considered.

“As a local resource in the community, a lot of employers are not aware that the Career Centre can help employers learn to how to seek out a particular demographic of employee, or a particular type of employee,” said Dill, executive director of the Parksville Career Centre. Dill said at the workshop there was a man who used to work in the music industry, and now he’s working in the culinary industry during his retirement.

“He’s loving it. He’s only getting a certain number of hours a week. He only wanted to work part time, but he wanted to do something completely different and he’s transferring his skills.”

Dill said he knows how to work with a team, and he’s able to be creative in the kitchen “just like he has been in his (previous) career.”

Debbie Yule said there were a few case studies presented by Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Mount Washinton Alpine Resort at the workshop.

Yule is the vice-president for labour market strategy at go2HR, the human resource association for the B.C.’s hospitality and tourism sector.

She said go2HR is advocating for employers to look at baby boomers instead of the traditional 15 to 24-year-olds who represent 30 per cent of the workforce.

“There’s a high proportion of baby boomers who have no intention of stopping working, but they don’t want that career job and all that stress,” Yule said. “They may have a pension, they may want to do something fun, be engaged, use the skill sets that they have.”

Migrating Baby Boomers are Helping Drive Chicago's Hot Rental Market – Curbed Chicago

While a desire to live in a dense, walkable urban environment has typically been the mantra among younger consumers such as millennials, the older generation is driving a noticeable uptick in Chicago’s rental market. According to a report appearing in the Chicago Tribune, an increasing number of baby boomers are ditching suburban homes in favor of renting in the city.

This trend is being repeated in other major metropolitan cities nationwide. In 2005 there were 10 million Americans in their 50s and 60s that chose to rent. The number has increased an astonishing 50% to 15 million by 2015. The same age bracket has accounted for more than half of the nation’s overall growth in renters over the past decade — though this increase is partly attributed to the sheer size of the boomer population.

Despite homeownership at one time being the goal for the majority Americans in their 50s and 60s, tastes are evolving as a number of empty-nesters struggle to see the benefits of maintaining a house in a suburban environment where shopping, dining, and entertainment options are comparatively limited. With owning a house no longer seen as the ultimate investment as it once was, many more middle-aged folks are looking to ditch their homes to free-up retirement capital in order to take advantage of the flexibility renting provides.

Lingering concerns over rising property taxes in Illinois have also contributed to this sentiment. Plus, the the convenience of elevator living is an attractive proposition for anyone with sore knees or a bad back.

Rental living also offers a toe-in-the-water experiment for baby boomers unsure about liquidating the equity they have built up in their homes. Also, because Chicago’s condo market has only recently rebounded at the highest luxury level, renting is often the only option available when it comes to living downtown.

Right now, renting in Chicago is primarily a choice for affluent baby boomers. Those looking to rent out of necessity after experiencing financial hardships have been less successful finding units at the low to moderate price points to match diminished budgets. As a result, the number of baby boomers renting more affordable suburban units has also increased over the past decade.

Baby boomers should be tested for hepatitis C – Globalnews.ca

TORONTO – Canadian researchers have determined the peak of the hepatitis C epidemic in North America occurred about 15 years earlier than previously believed, suggesting it wasn’t youthful indiscretions that put baby boomers at a high risk for the disease.

And that means, say researchers, that all those who belong to the post-Second World War generation should be screened for the potentially deadly infection, which can take up to 50 years to manifest symptoms.

Global News

An estimated 300,000 Canadians are infected with hepatitis C, with baby boomers — the generation born between 1946 and 1964 — making up about 75 per cent of cases.

Over time, hepatitis C can severely scar the liver, leading to cirrhosis, and is a known cause of liver cancer as well as liver failure.

It was long thought that boomers who were infected with the blood-borne virus likely contracted the disease in their late teens or early 20s, due to such risky behaviours as IV drug use or sexual experimentation.

But a study by B.C. researchers found the peak of the hepatitis C epidemic occurred about 1950, when many baby boomers were young children, and had plateaued by 1960 — well before the zenith of injection drug use at the end of that decade.

The oldest of the baby boomers were just five years old at the peak of the epidemic, the researchers say.

READ THIS: Drug combo cures hepatitis C in 3 months: study

“The spread of hepatitis C in North America occurred at least 15 years earlier than it was suspected before, and if that is the case, the baby boomer epidemic … cannot be explained by behavioural indiscretions on the part of the baby boomers,” said co-investigator Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

“We suspect that this is more likely attributable to medical practices at the time,” said Montaner, explaining that hepatitis C hadn’t yet been identified and injections and blood transfusions were given employing reusable glass-tube syringes and metal needles, which were subject to contamination despite boiling.

“The baby boomers in North America ought to be offered hepatitis C screening,” he said, “not because they did anything wrong but because they are baby boomers, and so they were alive at a time in which the standard of care was such that we are all potentially at risk of having contracted hepatitis C.”

A plateau in the spread of hepatitis C infections was observed between 1960 and 1990, consistent with the hypothesis that changes in injection technology were a driving factor.

Montaner suggested that stigma associated with a diagnosis of hepatitis C — arising from the belief the infection was contracted due to IV drug use or “rough sex” — has been misplaced.

READ THIS: Health officials say tattoo, piercing equipment not properly sterilized

“So hepatitis C testing has always carried a certain degree of stigma and it’s been a difficult conversation,” he said from Vancouver. “So people have been generally not coming forward to test, and physicians had usually not been offering hepatitis C screening very readily.

“But we feel that now that we recognize that there is no behavioural pattern that can predict risk for hepatitis C that this is a lot more of a random event in the baby boomers, and we need to in Canada formally recommend that all baby boomers be screened for hepatitis C.”

To conduct the study, published this week in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers analyzed genetic sequences of the virus from samples collected in B.C. Over time, the genetic signature of the virus alters due to mutations, allowing the scientists to clock when rates of infection waxed and waned.

They then did the same thing with 45,000 genetic sequences collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and found the time clock results matched those in their home province.

“Viruses accumulate mutations in a specific time sequence, which allows you to catalogue viruses and by extrapolation you can (determine) the origin of genetic spread,” explained Montaner. “It tells you when the virus was introduced into the population and how fast it spread.

“A virus that looks the same belongs to the same generation. Those that are different and evolved in a particular way are the next generation.”

READ THIS: Brody Williams recovering from hepatitis C thanks to new treatment

In an article this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the CDC reported that hepatitis C deaths in North America are on the rise, while mortality rates for such infectious diseases as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are dropping.

“So hepatitis C is a time bomb and it’s obviously not being addressed appropriately,” said Montaner, adding that recently developed medications can now cure the disease in up to 95 per cent of cases.

Formal screening programs should be provided by the provinces and territories to detect the disease, so immediate treatment can be offered to those found to be infected, he said.

“The problem is that hepatitis C takes somewhere around five decades to evolve into significant disease,” and anyone who is infected could be an asymptomatic carrier, capable of infecting others through their blood. (Canadian Blood Services has screened donations for hepatitis C since 1992, after an estimated 20,000 Canadians contracted the virus through transfusions.)

“Waiting for people to develop symptoms to be diagnosed and treated is too late, particularly because some of the damage that comes from hepatitis C would be irreversible,” stressed Montaner.

Most North Americans with hepatitis C belong to the baby-boom generation, Dr. John Ward, director of the division of viral hepatitis at the CDC, said in a statement.

“And most are unaware that they have this infection.”