Baby Boomers And Health – Insuring, For Ensuring A Healthier Life!

It is pretty common for people to go weak and become prone to diseases as they grow old. Most of them, when they age, tend to have arthritis, and other heart related problems. This is one reason for them to fret, and lead a life filled with insecurities. There might not be any way to prevent you from getting affected by the disease, but there sure is a way to protect you from the dollars that you have to spill to get back to normal shape.

This is called the health insurance. Depending on the type of problem you are facing, you can purchase the type of insurance that will best suit you. It sure will cover the doctor’s fee, the medicines, the hospital bills, and anything that comes under healthcare.

Your health insurance will not keep you away from any kind of ailment, but it will make sure that you have enough cash to manage your medical bills. There are many health insurance policies and insurance companies that sell the insurance. A few covers only a limited portion of the bill, and a few expensive ones cover almost anything under healthcare.

Most of the baby boomers now are becoming more insecure thinking about their financial status, in case they face some health hassles.

Post World War II; there was a great increase in the birth rate in the US. This is the generation which is popularly known as the baby boomers. People who came into the world between the years 1946 and 1964 constitute the baby boomer population. Two of the presidents of United States belong to the baby boomer clan.

This was the clan that came into existence when America was actually dominated by the military regimes, and officials and their enemies mainly belonged to the socialist and communist background. This is the era when the cold war was widespread. That is one of the major reasons why the people who were born during this period are very active when it comes to politics.

You need to understand that the people born during this period have very diverse political views, because of all the things that they underwent in the US. This was the generation that protested hard to bring in the civil rights, and this was one thing that shaped that powerful country to what it is today.

Coming back to the health insurance policies, the baby boomers who are aging now, are becoming more insecure, as they are already in their late 40’s or into their 60’s. With age comes other health ailments that need to be tackled, and this has in a way benefited many health insurance companies. Though they are large in number, they can be supported by the health insurance companies.

In case you work for a private firm, then, the company itself might offer the health insurance, and they will help you even after you retire. But, in case the company goes bankrupt, nothing can be done about the insurance claim, which you might never get. You need to understand that in case the company files bankruptcy, your insurance will not be covered after that.

In case you work for the government, you will still continue to get the free health insurance, as you are a former employee. Off late, the government has been budgeting keeping in mind the needs of the aging baby boomers. There is another cause of concern for the aging baby boomers. The health insurance policies are getting more expensive, and the lower cost might never be able to cover your needs.

But, there are many pressures from the government to make sure that all the baby boomers apply for the health insurance. If you belong to the baby boomer clan, you sure can feel happy because all your health insurance hassles will come to an end pretty soon.

Are You A Baby Boomer Interested In A Retirement Living Community?

If the thought of moving to a senior retirement living community has ever appealed to you, it would be a good idea if you started checking some of them out online and in person. With some of these communities you need to be a certain age to be eligible to live in, and that is the first thing to check out.

But otherwise, if you are passing by one these senior communities on the road, you probably wouldn’t even give it a second glance. Its not like they stick out or anything. There aren’t flocks of senior citizens waving to the passing cars or anything like that.

Instead, if you visit one of these communities, what you will find are enthusiastic groups of baby boomers engaged in activities like swimming in the Olympic sized pool or playing tennis or playing in pickup games on the basketball courts.

The days of thinking about retirees as sitting around in wheelchairs waiting for their stories to come on the TV in the community room are over. That stereotype is done with, never to be resurrected again. In its place are senior communities filled with upbeat, positive thinking people who are of the generation that changed the world.

As if baby boomers would be satisfied with shuffleboard and horseshoe tournaments. This strong and vital group of people who changed the world as we know it.

But what baby boomer retirement living communities are good for is making connections with people who think the same way you do. It is as if all the people you went to college with are still here, except now they are a bit older. You can still hear the same music playing from their windows out onto the quad but now it is coming from their iPod docking stations instead of their turntables.

Some of these retirement facilities are gated and have the appearance of being luxury communities, but just for seniors. That is actually a pretty cool idea because everybody that lives there is about the same age. You already have an instant rapport built right in.

Even better is that many of these retirement communities feature activities that really are active. These are not the usual checkers types of games but you might find water polo or a senior softball league or maybe even something along the lines of an arts and crafts class. But this one is for digital photographers who want to perfect their skills with Photoshop.

All in all, a retirement living community for folks who are baby boomers holds a lot of promise for a great life after retirement.

Is this the biggest blow to Baby Boomers ever? – Starts at 60

We discussed the potential of it happening before but it’s finally happened.  The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates from 1.75-percent to 1.5-percent.

In the statement from the RBA, governor Glen Stevens said, “Recent data suggest that overall growth is continuing at a moderate pace, despite a very large decline in business investment”.  He continued “Other areas of domestic demand, as well as exports, have been expanding at a pace at or above trend. Labour market indicators continue to be somewhat mixed, but are consistent with a modest pace of expansion in employment in the near term.”

The RBA used the data showing inflation was at it’s lowest in 17 years and stated that it would probably stay low for a long time.  The theory being that low-interest rates would help banks lend money which would help the economy.  But are they thinking of you and how this will effect the over 60s of Australia?

How this is going to end up hurting the pensions of many Australia’s is yet to be determined but the outlook is grim.

How is this going to effect you? What are you going to have to counter the cut?

Baby Boomers and Retirement – What Now?

If you’ve always been socially active outside of work, with many interests, belonging to social groups like bowling leagues, card clubs, political groups, or church groups, retirement may be your dream come true, allowing you more time to dedicate to your favorite interests. Or if you love to travel, you may see it as a long-awaited gift that enables you to leisurely explore the countries that you’ve longed to visit most of your life. Even if you are required to live on a strict budget, many of your favorite activities of interest can be undertaken that require more time than money, like gardening, knitting, or crafts.

But what about those baby boomers who depend on work to consume most of their time and don’t really have any hobbies or outside interests? Retirement can become boring and very lonely, even the cause of severe depression. Many people nearing retirement have almost a fear of not working because they are afraid they will lose their self-worth that was fed by their employment. Many are also either divorced or widowed and don’t have a significant other with whom they can spend their time. For many, retirement can indeed be a dreaded time instead of a jubilee.

What advice then, should this second group take to avoid this void in their lives? Even before retirement comes, a plan needs to be made to try new things and to get involved in at least one or two activities that interest you. Check the newspaper for local activities and take that giant step to sign up to learn something that you’ve never tried before. It’s not always easy to take action outside the box, especially if you are shy and have never joined outside activities, but give it a try-think of it as an adventure. You may find a real passion for something that you would never have dreamed could evolve. This also applies to those retirees who already have outside interests. You are never too old to try something new and this is the perfect time to experiment.

How about dance lessons? There is zumba, ballroom dancing (you don’t need a partner), linedancing, tap, clogging, and even belly dancing. The internet offers free online beginner clogging lessons that will teach you the basic steps at home before even joining a local clogging group. This has become the latest trend for baby boomers.

Check out the local YMCA to see what activities they have scheduled for you to try. For you singles, there are often singles dances advertised in the paper where you can go to meet new people or sign up for online dating. Choose who you are most like online and email each other so you can get to know each other online before even meeting face to face. This can be very exciting.

No matter what your circumstance, financial situation, or personality, retirement is meant to allow you to celebrate after working all those years and you should make the most of it. Don’t let yourself get into a rut. Take action. Live your passion and if you don’t have a passion, find one. It can make a world of difference in your happiness and those around you.

Eat.Move.Connect. Tip: Hepatitis C: A silent epidemic among baby boomers – Crow River Media

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 8:00 am

Eat.Move.Connect. Tip: Hepatitis C: A silent epidemic among baby boomers

Did you know baby boomers are at higher risk of being infected with the hepatitis C virus? And what is most alarming is that those who are at highest risk are not aware that they can be living with this silent epidemic.

Seventy-five percent of people with hepatitis C were born between 1945 and 1965. It is not well understood why baby boomers have high rates of hepatitis C, but it believed that some could have been infected from contaminated blood or even from tattoo needles or ear piercings before precautions were adopted.

Due to the high prevalence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the disease.

New and successful treatments are available but the biggest barrier is diagnosis, which can be difficult since people can live for decades without any symptoms. This is why talking to a doctor and getting screened through a simple one-time blood test is so vital. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment and the prevention of health problems that hepatitis C can present over time.

Learn more about baby boomers and hepatitis C at www.KnowAboutHepC.com and www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/.

Capture Your Baby Boomer Prospects’ Trust With an Effective Autoresponder Series

Are you using an effective autoresponder series to build the know, like and trust factor with your Baby Boomer prospects?

An autoresponder series is a series of short (500 – 700 words each) email messages that you send to prospects when you are trying to sell a product, service, subscription, membership, etc. It can have a huge impact on your bottom line!

Typically, someone reads your sales message and then opts in for your offer-a free report, free ebook, video-but they don’t buy what you are selling.

As you know, Baby Boomers are cautious buyers-especially in today’s economy. They’ll read reviews and ask questions before buying. They want to know they’re going to get a good bang out of their hard-earned buck before forking it over.

I Know, Like and Trust You… I’ll Buy From You

The job of your autoresponder is to get your Boomer prospects back to your sales message. It’s your ‘sales force’ calling on them in a timely fashion and building up a relationship.

Each of your emails should focus on ONE want/need/desire/problem your prospect has and explain in compelling language why your product/service is the answer they are looking for.

By looking at a different want/need/desire/problem in each email, you give your prospect an opportunity to view your offer from a new perspective-one they might not have considered when they first saw your sales message.

You offer content and benefits that answer their questions. They start to see you in a new light; one that offers a solution to their pressing problem or need. They begin to feel like they know you and can trust you because you are answering their questions and offering to help.

Once that relationship begins, you have a much more receptive prospect. Ka-Ching!

It All Begins With a Story

Everyone loves a good story and the most effective autoresponders start with an interesting story that keeps the reader moving through the copy to your links-back to your sales message!

Written in a personable, chatting-with-a-friend style, write a story that can tie in to your offer somehow. It can be personal (about your childhood, family, friends, college), cultural (about movies, songs and TV shows that resonate with people) or topical (related to hot news items).

Drive the story towards a natural transition where you make a connection to the prospect’s pain/need/problem and build a desire for a solution. At that point, put in a link to your sales message-the answer they are seeking.

The first link gets clicked the most so make the transition powerful.

Introduce your product/service with a very strong benefit that solves the ONE issue you are writing about. Sprinkle in a couple more features/benefits that you glean directly from your sales letter/landing page.

Wrap up with a strong Call to Action that’ll make your prospects want to ACT NOW-a limited time offer, free bonus to the first # of responders, etc.

Add another link before your signature.

We’re not quite done yet…

Your P.S. is your final shot at getting them back to your sales page so try to hit on the high points once again. Emphasize a very strong benefit such as a no lose guarantee or restate a strong freebie offer.

Keep the whole message casual and friendly and end with a final link to your sales page.

Once a prospect buys your product/service you can continue to send emails that really solidify the know, like and trust factor and keep them coming back for more again and again. Congratulate them on their wise purchase and send a series of emails that explain how to use/benefit from the product or what to expect next if they’ve purchased a service.

If you need autoresonder copy that rocks and will have your Baby Boomer prospects clicking and buying, give me a call: 413.822.1280.

Social Security & Baby Boomers

Yes, I had heard about problems we will have when the full impact of Social Security and Baby Boomers come together, but reading the testimony of Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies, Cato Institute before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, September 24, 1996, really opened my eyes.

We have all heard stories about Social Security not being able to meet it’s obligations in future years, but reading this learned fellows testimony is a real downer! Misery loves company, so if you don’t mind I will share some of his information with you.

Currently, Social Security taxes bring in more revenue than the system pays our in benefits. The surplus theoretically accumulates in the Social Security Trust Fund. It is estimated this situation will be reversed as early as 2012, and SS will begin paying out more in benefits than it collects.

When this begins, we will begin drawing on surplus monies in the Trust Fund. This will then bring out of the darkness, some light, showing the Trust Fund is little more than polite fiction.

For years, the federal government has used the Trust Fund to disguise the actual size of the federal budget deficit, borrowing money from the Fund for current operating expenses; replacing the money with government bonds.

Mr. Tanner estimated these bonds will need to be turned in to the Federal Government, who has no cash or other assets with which to pay off those bonds. Will the government have to raise taxes to make good on the bonds to continue paying promised benefits? How else could they meet these SS obligations if they didn’t raise taxes?

Pyramid schemes are illegal in all 50 states. Social Security’s financing problems are the result of its fundamentally flawed design. Today’s benefits are paid by today’s taxes from the young. Tomorrow’s benefits to today’s young are to be paid by tomorrow’s taxes from, tomorrow’s young.

Sound like a pyramid scheme going amuck? We are living longer, the birth rate is declining; in 1950 there were 16 workers for every SS beneficiary, by 2030 there will be fewer than two.

Glad you were around to share this information with me. Way too much for one man alone to handle.

More Millennials than Baby Boomers! They can make a difference in election – The Herald

Millennials have surpassed baby boomers in numbers and could influence the outcome of the general election in November.

“It will be very important for the candidates to light a fire so millennials will go to the polls,” said Rick Whisonant, political analyst and chair of the history department at York Technical College in Rock Hill. “That will be a huge challenge for both candidates.”

According the Pew Research Center, the number of millennials (18-34) now matches that of boomers (51-69). But a report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows there are 75.4 million millennials (ranging in ages from 18-35), surpassing 74.9 million baby boomers.

Whisonant said in the 2012 election, Romney used a 2000 census playbook while the Obama team targeted new and shifting demographics reported by the latest census.

“Candidates must be mindful of the shifting demographics,” Whisonant said, “and they must identify the concerns of the dominant group, not just the majority group.”

In ’08 there was enthusiasm on the Democratic side. In 2012, millennials became disillusioned and the turnout was not as strong, he said. In 2008, according to the Pew Research Center, 50 percent of eligible millennials voted in the national election. In 2012, that number dropped to 46 percent. This election, voter turnout will be essential.

The adjunct instructor and lecturer at Winthrop University said for millennials, “Labels don’t mean a lot to them. They are no longer trapped into religious denomination labels like Protestants or Catholics. They’re not flocking to their parents’ church, where enrollment is dying.

“Similarly, in politics millennials don’t feel bound by labels,” he said. “They are looking at the personality of the candidates, what they are bringing to the table.”

Millennials’ view

Three York County millennials shared their views.

Clover High School graduate Dwayne McClure, 24, is a campaign director for senate hopeful Republican Mark Palmer. McClure is an insurance agent, who majored in political science at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Kat Yoffie, 20, is president of her chapter of Winthrop College Republicans. Yoffie, office assistant in the summer for the military student’s office on campus and at the on-campus gym, graduated from Rock Hill High School in 2014. She is studying English and political science.

Roman Vitanza, 22, is 3rd vice chair for York County Democrat Party, president of Winthrop University College Democrats, State Federation leader for College Democrats of America and deputy communications director for South Carolina Young Democrats. He is majoring in dgital information design, concentration in digital mass media with a minor in political science and history. The Arlington, Texas, native is employed with Walk2Campus Properties.

Question. When and how did you become interested in politics?

DM: I first got involved at the age of 16 when I did light campaigning for Sen. John McCain. It was really light — just a couple of friends and myself trying to educate the seniors we knew at school on the two candidates and their dichotomies. It wasn’t until President Obama came to Charlotte, and I reconnected with Peggy Upchurch that I got really involved. She took me to my first YCGOP meeting when I was 17, which led to me getting involved with Rep. Tommy Pope’s campaign. That snowballed into my work as an intern for Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, as a page for Pope and now as campaign director for Palmer.

KY: I first became interested in politics growing up when my dad and I would sit around in the evenings and watch the news. I was always so horrified by some of the events which would spark conversations with my dad about what it all meant. Once I got a little older it did no good to sit around in the evenings and strategize about what was going on and how to stop it. I actually needed to get up and become an activist for the things in which I believe.

RV: My parents had been involved in the state and local government politics, and when I was 16 decided to bring me to a meeting of the Pickens County Democratic Party. After hearing the stances of everyone in the room, I decided politics to be one of my hobbies while in high school. This has evolved to being so active in the state and national parties that I’ve gotten to meet superstars in the political ring.

Question. What is your view of a “great America?”

DM: First, America is always great; and we have been great since our inception. So I don’t think Mr. Trump can make our nation great again because men like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams ensured that in our founding principles. What I would like to see is the restoration of American pride and ingenuity. We need to restore our faith in our republic, our constitution and our principles. A great America is a proud America, and if Donald Trump makes us all proud and restores the truth of American “exceptionalism,” then he would have achieved his goal in my book.

KY: To me, America is already great. It always has been and it always will be. We are blessed every day we wake up as Americans. However, that does not mean I don’t think some things could change. In order to make America better, I would like to see more protections of freedom.

RV: Where people don’t have to struggle for the basic needs. Where police brutality is not prevalent on African American citizens. Where you don’t have to decide on if you are getting your medicine to live or pay rent. Where people won’t be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation or the people they associate with.

Question. How do you describe this generation of young voters, especially millennials?

DM: This generation of voters is lost. They are looking for answers but they don’t want the truth. Our party has dropped the ball at reaching out to them and there’s a cultural gulf.The Hillary folks I’ve encountered from my generation are for her because of her gender and nothing more, really. It’s a blessing and a curse that they tend to live in the moment.

KY: I think when non-millennials look at us, they see us as very divided. While, from the outside looking in, they may seem very different, I think every millennial is looking for the same thing. We have grown up and seen the ‘same old, same old’ just is not working anymore, and we are scared for the future. While some millennials look to socialism for the answer, and some look to more conservative values and borderline libertarian beliefs, the root of the search is the same for all of us.

RV: From what I have seen young voters are focused heavily on social welfare and making sure that we can sustain ourselves for the future. But at the same time they want someone they can trust. Most millennials view Hillary Clinton as an untrustful person, but they would never want to vote for someone like Donald Trump who has been building his entire campaign on isolating the United States from the rest of the civilized world, and placing the blame on the actions of our previous government leaders on innocent people.

Question. How can we best get people out of poverty and instill in them a desire to work toward social mobility?

DM: Work your way out, and make sure education is a priority. A minimally adequate education provides a minimally adequate work force and minimally adequate life. A child born into that cycle is likely to stay right there. I know it may not be a popular stance, but I think our education system should be fully funded with incentives for high-performing schools because it is an investment in our state. Or we can sit by and surrender more in tax dollars to subsidize minimally adequate lifestyles.

KY: I think the easiest answer is jobs. Capitalism is the one and only way to get people out of poverty. We need to instill motivation, determination and discipline; but that is, of course, easier said than done. Many people rely of the government’s handouts to get by but this just creates a system of generational poverty, which then creates a disdain for the working class and creates much of the divide we are seeing in society today. Star Parker wrote an amazing book called “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” that details how modern day welfare is exactly like slavery. And just as she says, welfare and government safety nets are not the answer to this problem. The answer is motivating folks to go out and earn a salary and have pride in themselves and their work.

RV: By giving them the tools to get out. Education, resources, and training so they can help themselves and their local communities.

Question. What do you want to say to young voters?

DM: Read constantly, challenge everything you hear, study the constitution and federalist/anti-federalist papers, then … welcome to the Republican Party.

KY: I would encourage young voters to get involved. Many people are making decisions for us and for our country, but we’ll be the ones facing the consequences of those decisions. I would also urge young voters to take some time to seriously think about our country and what you would like it to look like in 20 years when you have families and are working, living life beyond the comfort of mom and dad’s house or the comfort of a university. I have never been stronger in my opinions than when I have to defend them against people who think Socialism is the answer to all life’s problems. If you can defend your positions against opposing views, then you have a good understanding of what you believe, and most importantly, why you believe it.

RV: Go out and find the person that your views most likely go into alignment with, Don’t just do what your parents, your church leaders, neighbors, or friends say. The best thing you can do for yourself is to be active in not only your social lives, but your local community! Advancements can’t happen unless people are willing to stand up, get active, and ‘get fired up and ready to go.’

Questions directed to each party candidate:

Question. Why do you think voters have found an affinity for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump?

DM: He’s really struck a chord with a sizable chunk of the party, and it has a lot to do with the simplicity of his message. Brevity and clarity are key, so when he tells people he’ll build a wall, it’s something you get instantaneously without any qualifiers. It’s refreshing that someone in the party has that kind of approach. We don’t want to talk over people’s heads constantly or assume a condescending posture like the current administration does or Hillary Clinton. Trump wants to “make America great again.”

KY: I think Donald Trump seems to many people to be that “outsider.” He isn’t a politician and he says what he thinks. While this has gotten him in trouble with the media, I think it has garnered a great deal of respect for him. Most politicians will not make such outlandish comments because they are constantly seeking re-election, so I think many people appreciate his honesty and also agree with his remarks.

Question. Why do you think voters have an affinity for Hillary Clinton?

RV: Hillary Clinton has actually done a lot for the people while she was the FLOTUS, even with the recent events happening around her she has actually put many families first. Even though many people don’t actually trust her, the alternative is someone who would catapult the United States into a period of regression and undo many years of advancement that everyone is working for.

In York County

Age Females Males

18-24 6,743 5,775

25-44 30,609 24,559

45-64 31,575 27,623

65+ 17,444 14,291

Source: York County Registration & Elections

Baby Boomers take to digital healthcare – Internet Health Management – Internet Health Management

A new survey of digital healthcare use reveals Baby Boomers more than other segments of the population are using self-service web tools to manage their healthcare affairs.

The survey of 1,443 consumers by CareCloud Corp., a developer of cloud-based healthcare information technology software and services for doctors, finds that 62% of Baby Boomers—individuals between the ages of 51 and 69—use the web to access and update their electronic health records compared with 58% for mature users (age 70 and above), 54% for Generation X (age 35 to 50) and 48% for Millennials (age 18 to 34).

More Baby Boomers—50%—also use digital healthcare tools to request prescription refills online vs. matures at 46%, Generation X at 36% and Millennials at 31%. At 43% Baby Boomers also use the web and digital healthcare tools to contact a healthcare provider with a question compared with 42% for Millennials and 34% for Generation X and mature patients, respectively.

“Boomers are the group most likely to take advantage of digital healthcare tools,” the survey says. “They are viewing online medical records, requesting prescription refills and contacting their providers with follow-up questions.”

The CareCloud survey notes that consumers are still slow to rate or review their doctor online. Only 26% of survey respondents had completed an online provider review vs. 74% that had not. Patients also rely on a variety of sources to find a physician but the biggest group—42%—use the web site of their health insurer to find a doctor within that network.

In contrast only 11% of consumers use an online search or a ratings and review web site to find a physician compared with 4% who go to a physician’s web site or blog and just 1% who find doctors on social networks like Facebook.

“Given that patients have financial incentives to align provider choice with insurance coverage, it is unsurprising that plan/payer web sites are identified as the top resource,” the survey says. “Medical practice web sites and social media efforts lag far behind other factors influencing patient choice.”

To communicate with their doctor, 35% of consumers prefer doing so using an online patient portal. That compares with 29% preferring to use the phone, e-mail at 21%, mobile app at 8% and text messaging at 7%.

“Digital communication is gaining traction as patients preferred method of contact with their providers outside of office visits,” the survey says. “Millennials are twice as likely as those in other age groups to switch providers in order to access online financial and medical records.”

Here's a Reason Baby Boomers Will Curb U.S. Growth this Decade – Bloomberg

Population aging is expected to drag on U.S. growth, and the hit could be substantial. 

The retirement of baby-boomers in the decade between 2010 and 2020 will lower GDP growth per capita by 1.2 percentage point a year from what would have been the case if the nation’s demographics had held steady, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study out this week. The bright side is that the dent is only half as deep between 2020 and 2030 as the pace of aging slows.

The study is based on a simple idea: population aging is already long underway and has been playing out with varying degrees of intensity across different regions of the country. By looking at variations in state population aging, authors Nicole Maestas at Harvard Medical School, and Kathleen Mullen and David Powell at policy research group RAND Corporation, are able to estimate how a graying workforce affects output, participation rates and productivity. 

What’s surprising is the composition of the slowdown. Just one-third is driven by slowing workforce expansion and the rest by a drop in productivity gains. The productivity slump isn’t reserved to older workers: it takes place across age groups, the researchers find.

The authors suggest a few theories about why that’s the case. It could simply be that younger and older workers complement one another. Or the most productive older workers might be leaving the workforce,  while less-productive old timers stay on the job. 

“How much of it is that relatively productive workers are the ones who are choosing to retire? It’s very hard to say,” Maestas said in an interview.

Regardless of what’s behind it, the discovery that the aging workforce could be weighing on productivity comes in contrast to other guesses and is important.

As Federal Reserve officials meet in Washington this week, tepid growth in ouput-per-hour is likely to be one of the economic questions they’re pondering. It’s not clear why productivity growth has dropped off, and the change has real-world implications: it’s one factor that caused Fed officials to lower their projections for where interest rates will settle in the longer-run, based on meeting minutes from their June meeting. 

Another notable feature of the new findings: they’re really pessimistic. If growth over the next 20 years otherwise held near its average for the 1960-2010 period — about 1.9 percent — adjusting for the demographic shift would lower per-capita GDP gains to 0.7 percent this decade and 1.3 percent next, based on the estimates. 

Other research on the topic has suggested that population aging will have a smaller drag on output growth — for instance, a 2012 National Research Council report found that aging could knock 0.3 to 0.6 percentage point off of growth over the next two decades as the workforce structure changes, which it characterized as a “modest” macroeconomic consequence. The difference arises because the council didn’t factor in productivity as a major way aging could drag on growth, Maestas said. 

“The real challenge next is to take a closer look at productivity and whether there are ways to redesign the way we work, and take a look at policy that can inadvertently encourage retirement by productive workers,” she said.

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