Look Out World – Here Come The Babyboomers

So the Babyboomers are now entering the “golden years” and what does all this mean for them? Well hopefully it means the next several years are going to be full of fun and prosperity and their time to make the most of life.

Is this going to be possible though in the world that we live in today? Are the babyboomers going to be able to survive the recession? Are they going to be able to adjust to the cuts in health care? Are they going to be able to maintain their health in a polluted world?

All pretty grave questions, and perhaps to the point of being depressing. The world should not underestimate the baby boomers though because they are survivors. After all they have made it this far, and when one looks back in history they have come through some pretty tough times.

It is all not doom and gloom for this wonderful group of people. They have paved the way for the multitude of good things that the younger jet set of the world can now enjoy today. They are the pioneers to technology.

The babyboomers are the foundation that the world depends on for their words of wisdom.

There are unfortunately some people in the world today that think that the babyboomers are going to put a strain on the social system and are going to have a dramatic impact on an already weak health care system. These individuals should take a walk in the babyboomer’s shoes however and jog their memory, that if it weren’t for them there would be no reform in health care. It was their fight and lobbying that got the system going, albeit not perfect but that can’t be blamed on them. After all they don’t run it they just fought to get it here.

So I for one say, Hats Off To The Babyboomers, for countless jobs well done. You go ahead and enjoy your golden years, because if there is anyone that deserves a life of prosperity and happiness it’s the babyboomers of 2011!

Risky Business: Drug Abuse Among Baby Boomers On Rise – CapeNews.net

Since being established in 2008, the Falmouth Prevention Partnership has focused on strategies to help prevent substance abuse among our local teens and kids. One key strategy has been to focus on the role of parents and grandparents as the most important people who influence a teen’s decision to abuse alcohol and drugs. Parents and grandparents can provide correct information about drug and alcohol use; provide support and guidance for kids struggling to make appropriate choices; and, act as role models.

Kids who are exposed to parents or grandparents who drink excessively, use recreational street drugs, or misuse or abuse prescription medication (especially opioid painkillers) are more likely to develop a substance use problem. Also, older adults tend to use more prescription medication, especially painkillers. Having these medications around in a cabinet, on a kitchen counter, in a pillbox or a purse provides easy access to a family member or friend who might want to either sell or use the drugs. Research studies have documented that more than 60 percent of teens who start to abuse prescription opioids get the drugs from a family member.

During the past several years the partnership has sponsored several programs to educate the community about this issue. The programs include:

Lock Your Meds presentations to inform seniors and others about how to safely secure and dispose of medications;

Drug disposal kiosk in the lobby of the Falmouth Police Department and twice yearly Drug Take-Back Days;

Freckle-Face Girl ads in The Falmouth Enterprise showing a teenage girl getting painkillers from her grandmother;

Ongoing educational content in The Falmouth Enterprise and the Falmouth Prevention Partnership website (www.falmouthprevention.org).

The population of Falmouth is aging. According to the 2014 report Aging in Falmouth, in 2010 people ages 60 to 79 made up 27 percent of the town’s population and an additional 8 percent of residents were ages 80 and older. This trend is expected to continue with the aging of the baby boomer population and the increasing numbers of retirees moving to Falmouth.

Seniors And Addiction: A Not-So Silent Epidemic

More of us are living longer and more of us are abusing drugs and alcohol in our later years. Substance abuse (including misuse of prescription drugs) affects about 17 percent of the senior population. By 2020, the number of seniors with a substance abuse problem is expected to double. Much of this increase is being fueled by aging baby boomers with an estimated 10,000 turning 65 in the US per day—there are 50 million people over age 65 in the nation, and people over 70 are in the fastest growing group.

According to Dr. David Oslin, a behavioral health expert at the University of Pennsylvania, “Baby boomers appear to be carrying their substance abuse habits with them as they age.” When younger, boomers used drugs at the highest rate of any generation, and in the midst of widespread abuse of opioid painkillers, some are turning to drugs as they face the challenges of aging.

Binge drinking and prescription drug misuse are of concern in this population. Dr. Oslin noted that currently, 4 million older adults need substance use treatment, including 0.4 million needing treatment for illicit drugs, 3.2 million needing treatment for alcohol, and 0.4 million needing treatment for both. By some estimates, the proportion of older adults seeking treatment for opioid addiction will increase dramatically in the coming decade.

When we think of drug addiction, seniors are not the first age group that comes to mind; our perceptions are molded by media reports of young people overdosing. In 2012, approximately 442,000 adults ages 65 or older reported having misused a prescription drug within the past month. And, according to the Centers For Disease Control, in 2013, more than 12,000 boomers died of an accidental drug overdose—more than the number who died in car accidents or from influenza and pneumonia.

According to a study reported at a recent meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, emergency departments in the US saw a 78 percent increase in the number of visits made by older adults due to the misuse of prescription or illicit drugs between 2006 and 2012. Nearly half of the visits occurred among people ages 75 and older. And, in 2012 more than 100,000 people ages 65 and older were hospitalized for an opioid overuse problem.

The misuse of prescription drugs among older adults is related to their increased risk of experiencing chronic pain—both physical and emotional—including musculoskeletal disorders (such as arthritis, low back pain, and fibromyalgia), physical trauma (as the result of falls), anxiety, depression, loss of family members, and social isolation. Often, opioid painkillers are prescribed long-term for seniors for a chronic condition, and the use of these prescriptions may not be sufficiently monitored. Recent medical evidence suggests that long-term use of prescription painkillers is not the best way to manage chronic pain. Most seniors who develop an opioid use disorder become addicted through medical treatment of a chronic pain condition.

Taking too many painkillers, especially in combination with anti-anxiety medications, can cause forgetfulness and increase the likelihood of an overdose or a serious injury. For example, your mother or grandmother may be taking OxyContin for pain, plus be having a glass or two of wine in the afternoon and, when no one is around, she falls and breaks her hip.

Some Medication Advice For Seniors

Before starting an opioid medication, work with your healthcare provider to find alternative medications or treatments for your pain. Due to side effects and interaction with other medications and alcohol, prescription painkillers are especially risky for seniors.

If you are currently taking or have recently been given a prescription for an opioid medication, here are some tips to keep you safe and to make sure that you are managing your pain effectively:

Start with a low dose and go slow. Talk to your physician about using the lowest dose of medication to see how it works and if you experience any side effects.

Tell your physician about other medications you take. One of the biggest risk factors for overdose and death from prescription painkillers is mixing them with alcohol or other medications. The combination of benzodiazepines (sometimes prescribed for anxiety or insomnia) and opioids is especially dangerous.

Follow up frequently. To monitor your condition, your physician may need to see you frequently, in some cases monthly.

Be realistic! Don’t expect any pain medication to be a magic bullet; most only ease pain, and all of them have risks. Prescription painkillers work best for acute pain and may not be as effective overtime for chronic pain.

Keep medications safe. The misuse of prescription pain medications is a serious national problem and locally is tied to the heroin epidemic. It is important that you store your medications in a locked cabinet or lockbox and keep track of how many you’ve taken. When you no longer need treatment, bring the unused medication to the drug kiosk in the lobby of the Falmouth Police Department for proper disposal.

Taking care of yourself and appropriately managing your medications is an important way to help your kids and teens to stay safe and healthy. A healthy senior population in Falmouth helps to keep the community viable for all residents.

Dr. Bihari is a pediatrician, a member of the Falmouth Prevention Partnership, and a member of the Falmouth Public School Health Advisory Committee.

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PS must step up recruitment to offset exodus of retiring baby boomers – Ottawa Citizen

Canada’s aging public service is poised for a “dramatic generational change” that is forcing the federal government to accelerate the recruitment and grooming of young talent, says the country’s top bureaucrat.

On Friday, Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick released his first report to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It lays out the public service’s accomplishments of the past year, as well as the priorities for the coming year.

At the top of Wernick’s list is recruitment and managing a “generational change” as the last wave of baby boomers, who dominated the face and character of public service for decades, retires.

“It will be important to pass on the values and wisdom of the past generations while mobilizing the energy and creativity of the new generations of public servants. I see this as a key and urgent task for the public service as a whole,” he said in his report.

Wernick said that the public service must “step up the pace” of finding, hiring and developing new public servants – including medically-released veterans who now have first dibs on job openings in the public service.

Treasury Board President Scott Brison has committed to targeting the large millennial generation while adapting the public service to make it more millennial-friendly. 

Wernick said the government will also have to accelerate its modernization plan – Blueprint 2020 – to meet the expectations of Canadians and deliver the government’s agenda.

He said rules and processes will be “rigorously” streamlined. Departments must review how their work is done. The culture must shift to focus on results rather than “activity.”

“We must become more sophisticated in defining the objectives of the initiatives we are pursuing, whether they are in policy program regulatory or service areas. The measure of an initiative cannot be the dollars spent or the number of meetings held, but rather the chance and difference made in people’s lives,” the report states.

Canada’s aging population poses challenges for the federal government to ensure it employs enough skilled people of all ages.

The public service, the largest employer in Canada, is emerging from an era of spending restraints and cuts with a smaller, older workforce of employees 18 to 65-plus. The public service now has 257,138 employees with an average age that nudged slightly up to 45 years old over the past year.

Part of the problem is that average age of new hires is now 37 and the proportion of the permanent employees under age 35 has dipped slightly. 

About 46 per cent of all public service executives are over age 50. The average deputy minister is 58; associate deputy minister is 54; assistant deputy minister 53.7 and directors and directors-general are 50.

Wernick gave no indication about whether the public service would grow with new recruitment but his report shows new hires aren’t replacing the number of people who leave. Last year, the government hired 6,093 permanent employees – compared to 2,900 in 2012 – while about 9,740 left or retired.

Departments are also hiring term, casual and student employees rather than permanent employees. The proportion of permanent employees – who make up 86 per cent of the public service – slipped as that of terms, casuals and students increased.

Departures remained stable over the past decade — other than the big blip that came with the job cuts from the Conservatives’ 2012 budget. Retirements and other departures hit a peak of 13,000 in 2012-13.

The recruitment and retention patterns are reflected in the experience levels of public servants. Today, 11 per cent of public servants have fewer than four years of experience compared with more than 13 per cent the previous year. The proportion with five to 14 years of experience increased slightly to 49.4 per cent from 48.7 per cent. Those with 25 years or more remained stable hovering at 17 per cent.

Wernick is picking up the same priorities of his predecessor Janice Charette, who put recruitment, mental health and policy development at the top of her management agenda.

Wernick earlier telegraphed mental health as a priority when he notified deputy ministers their performance pay this year would be tied to the health and well-being of their departments.

Mental health is a big issue, with depression and stress accounting for nearly half of all health claims. The government agreed to a joint labour and management task force on how to make the public service a healthy and “respectful” workplace.

Wernick’s report clearly indicates there will be no single plan when the task force releases its final report.

Rather, each department will develop its own “action plan” rather than shoehorn a master set of rules on all departments. That’s because the nature of federal workplaces varies wildly from white-collar office jobs to employees working in call centres, on Coast Guard ships, in prisons or the military.

Those plans will focus on changing culture with leadership, training, support for employees and managers, and then measuring the impact of those changes.

Wernick’s report noted that the last public service survey showed that harassment, discrimination and lack of empowerment are key barriers to a “respectful” workplace.

“These types of behaviours must be addressed,” he said.  “There is no place for them in society or in the workplace. Every manager and every employee is accountable.”

On the policy front, Wernick has taken exception to critics who argue the public service lost its policy-making skills over the Conservative decade.

His report, however, says the way policy is developed has to be modernized and a policy community project is underway to strengthen policy-making in a rapidly changing world.

“It will be important never to return to a time where policy was developed in splendid isolation from the operations and services that implement it, or the people affected by it. Nor should policy be developed in silos and stovepipes. All of the important issues facing Canada are broad and multi-faceted.”


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Baby Boomers Seek Security in Annuities – WealthManagement.com

The financial crisis challenged investors’ faith in the stock market. Equities’ sharp drop during the crisis, and their up-and-down ride recently, have encouraged investors to be more cautious with their money. Baby boomers especially have re-evaluated their approach.

“Boomers are creating their retirement income strategy and looking for peace of mind,” said Eric Henderson, senior vice president of life insurance and annuities at Nationwide®. “They seek financial security and family well-being above high-risk investment returns.”

Boomers are falling short of retirement goals

Roughly 10,000 baby boomers retire every day, and that pace is likely to continue for about 15 years.  Unfortunately, the percentage of baby boomers who feel financially prepared for retirement has dropped since the financial crisis. In 2011 nearly 40 percent of boomers thought that they had enough money to retire comfortably. Today that number has dropped to roughly 25 percent.

Henderson adds that many boomers have to retire earlier than planned as the result of health problems or layoffs. Such forced retirements put additional pressure on a boomer’s finances.

Skittishness about equity markets, coupled with feelings of financial insecurity, indicates many baby boomers are looking for a reliable source of retirement income.

“For baby boomers exploring ways to fund retirement, annuities are the only product that can insure against outliving retirement income,” Henderson said. “Annuities offer a dependable income stream that offers financial advisors a good option to help their clients prepare for retirement income needs.”

Annuities are not all created equal

There are two main types of annuities: those that pay out immediately and those that defer payments to a later date. Both offer the advantage of deferring taxes until the money is paid out, as well as the option to purchase a death benefit that returns a portion of the annuity’s cost to the client’s heirs. The right kind of annuity for a particular client depends on his or her financial situation, needs and goals.

“As clients seek guidance to create a retirement income strategy, advisors can explore a wide variety of annuity product options that can be tailored to meet each client’s unique needs,” Henderson said.

For example, people who are on the cusp of retirement may benefit most from immediate annuities, which enable them to turn their savings into a regular stream of income. A deferred annuity may make more sense for clients who are years from retirement or are primarily concerned about outliving their savings.

Both immediate and deferred annuities can be fixed or variable. With a fixed annuity, payments are set at a pre-determined amount each month. This type of investment would have clear appeal to a conservative investor.

Other clients may want an annuity’s income guarantee, but also the opportunity to improve on it. These clients could consider a variable annuity. Income from variable annuities is tied to the stock market or to a bundle of investments; if the portfolio performs well, the annuity’s payout may exceed the guarantee. An investor also may choose a combination of fixed and variable payments.

“Whether fixed or variable, annuities offer benefits—such as tax deferral, lifetime income and death benefit guarantees—that today’s retirees tell us they are looking for as they create their retirement income strategy,” Henderson said.

Helping you help your clients

Annuities may help you build secure retirement income strategies for your baby boomer clients, while alleviating the anxieties of those with strong memories of the financial crisis and bear market.

Henderson notes that annuities can serve as effective components of a plan that also includes considerations about Social Security, health care and other factors. “Today’s boomers have a variety of needs and challenges, and annuities can help advisors and their clients address them,” he says. “Annuity providers also have tools and resources that can help solve a range of challenges, from maximizing Social Security to factoring a retiree’s unique health care expenses into his or her income strategy—so we can be a real partner for baby boomers and their financial advisors.”


Baby Boomers and Retirement

Baby boomers have redefined retirement. For some, retirement used to mean the leisure years. They could play golf or spend time with their grandkids. For others, it meant the traveling years. They traveled around the country or even the world.

Today, as many baby boomers near retirement or have already arrived there, it has taken on a different meaning. Retirement now often includes still working at a job, at least part-time. The economy has helped play a role in that, but also, I believe baby boomers have realized that having a lot of time with nothing set to do is not all that attractive.

Baby boomers want to remain active, both physically and mentally. Many exercise regularly. Many continue on working, either at a job or by starting their own business. Some are choosing to volunteer their time.

According to the Small Business Administration, Americans aged 55 to 64 start small businesses at a higher rate than any other age group. This should be encouraging to baby boomers as others in their age group are certainly doing it, so why not?

There are many advantages to starting a home based business. First, financially, it is normally less risky than starting a brick and mortar type of business. You don’t have to pay to buy or rent physical space. There are quite a few options that will allow you to start a home based business for a low or reasonable amount of money.

Also, you still have the flexibility and freedom that you desire in the retirement years. Since it’s your business, you are the boss and can schedule your hours to work as you see fit. You can still take time and travel if you wish.

Baby boomers have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Why not put it to good use by starting your own business? You can be sharing something with others, doing something you enjoy and earning some extra income all at the same time.

Whatever you decide to do during your retirement years, make it something you enjoy. Whether you work for someone else or yourself, or volunteer, do something that gives you a sense of purpose and will allow you to share the gifts and skills you have with others.