Baby Boomers Lifestyle – How Baby Boomers Are Different From the Previous Generation

Baby boomers lifestyle is different from the previous generation because they have had to adapt from the culture of their parents.

The two big differences in the generations are work and family related. I am not here to judge but to point out why this difference occurred.

In the fifties and sixties returning veterans could start work for a company and expect to retire after working there for 40 years. There was job security, company loyalty and it was the way things worked then…not now.

I am now 65…for those of a similar age ask yourself how many of your elementary school classmates did not have a mother and father, living at home with them.

Dad went to work; Mom stayed home and raised the family. This was not isolated to one region of the country I went to 11 schools in grades 1 through 12; my dad was an Army officer.

Divorce was unheard of then… a two-parent family provided a stability the baby boomer generation takes for granted.

Fast forward, to today,the baby boomers lifestyle finds divorce rates at 50% or higher, the two-parent family is no longer a given…in some places, they are in the minority.

The job market for Boomers has vastly changed. In the 1980s, companies were bought and sold like Monopoly pieces. Pension funds went out the window; job security was something only the post office afforded. Mom could no longer afford to stay home… she had to work. The baby boomer lifestyle changed from their parents lifestyle.

Boomers discovered the necessity of day-care, multiple jobs and a culture that did not think of divorce as a scarlet letter.

That has made the Boomer generation more independent and self-reliant than the previous generation. The stable home and cradle to grave relationship with one’s work is outdated.

Only time will tell if the generation of the Boomer’s parents was the “greatest generation”. For sure the baby boomer lifestyle is different form their parents lifestyle.

Why Are Pre-Boomers the Forgotten Generation?

First, few people know the definition of pre-boomers. It is those of us born between 1930 and 1945, from the beginning of the Great Depression through the end of World War II. Second, no one seems to know how many pre-boomers there are. The latest estimate is more than 30 million, which is three times more than the rest of those over 65. And last, what’s unique about the pre-boomers? As a sandwich generation, we are the bridge between the so-called Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers.

We do not remember the pain of the depression, but most of us have vivid memories of WWII and the years immediately following it. For the most part, we were too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam. We did not march in the streets for civil rights, women’s rights or to protest any wars. What we did was grow up believing America was the greatest land on earth and believed in the opportunities it offered those of us who worked hard to get ahead. So we were the driving force behind what ultimately became the longest period of peace time prosperity in the nation’s history. Oh, and don’t forget, we invented rock and rock too.

Our elders (parents, teachers and the community) taught us to be patriots, believe in one another, and believe in ourselves. We still cherish these lessons and practice them to the best of our abilities. It was the pre-boomer who taught the boomers, but some place along the line they didn’t latch on to the American values the way we did. The “me generation” became the symbol of status and the generation of “more.” This pleased the marketers of goods and services, and as the boomers came of age there was a huge group of consumers’ eager to buy what others were selling. I know, because I was one of the admen who targeted the baby boomers and later wrote a book about marketing to them, “The 50+ Boomer: Your Key to 76 Million Consumers.”

After retiring a few years back, I continued to research and write about marketing issues. In so doing, I realized how people under-valued my generation. Marketers, advertisers, the media, you name it; they simply forgot about the pre-boomers. A quick search of Web sites or online articles shows few are directed at my peers. Yes, there are people writing to “seniors” about investments, real estate, retirement planning, and insurance; but there’s not much in the way of current events or nostalgic interests specifically for pre-boomers. In fact, most people use pre-boomer and boomer as interchangeable terms — not all but enough to indicate they don’t have an understanding of the audience they’re trying to reach.

So I decided to start a blog to reach out to my generation with thoughts, comments and opinions. My hope is to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate on a variety of topics including the nostalgia of our times. has been live for a few months. The reception has been heartwarming, but I’m looking to get more of us involved with more dialogue on more issues.

The Baby Boomer Lifestyle – What Is It?

Are you one of the baby boomers who refuse to follow the traditional retirement path? Do you refuse to sleep late, or sit in a rocking chair and watch aimlessly as time goes by?

You see us in almost every neighborhood. We are volunteering, working part-time, or starting a new career. We are taking brisk morning walks in Parks and inside Malls. We are flexing our muscles at the gym and shopping at health food stores.

We do Yoga, Tai Chi, have read The Tao Te Ching, and follow the teachings of Lao Tzu. We meditate daily, get regular massages and know what “Co Q-10” is.

We are not old people. We are Baby Boomers living a second life. We have an eclectic choice of new lifestyles. We are using online dating services to find partners that have similar interests. We are having second and third time partners and/or marriages.

Some of us are letting our gray hair show, and doing it with style.

We are growing old gracefully, in active harmony with this late season of life. We would rather wear out than rust out.

What this unique group of people recognize is that their main limitation in all these lifestyle choices is their health condition. Money is not as much an obstacle. Much of what they participate in is either free or at little cost. Some continue to work because they need the money. For others it is to keep their brain active and engaged.

For me it is a combination of both. I love the idea, the process, and monetary reward of re-inventing myself. I was sixty-one when I went back to school to become a licensed massage therapist, it was an amazing experience for me. I was the oldest student in all my classes. I was three times the age of many of my classmates. Being fit was a huge asset in my successful completion of this mentally intensive and physically demanding program. Only 50% of students that begin, graduate, pass the state exam, and obtain their license to practice massage therapy. Many fail on the first try.

The cliché is true. You are never too old to learn. I quickly settled into my daily study and massage practice routine. We had daily practice massages, two tests each week, a “Pop Quiz” on Wednesdays and a full test on Fridays. I did this while juggling my career as a Realtor.

The state exam is three hours long. I used the full 3 hours and I passed on my first attempt. I got my license in December 2009. This was the start of a new life and career as a health coach and healer.

Many Boomers are heading back to school, to finish degrees or to embark on new careers. I am a strong advocate of life-long learning. Many academic institutions provide online learning programs on the internet, so there is very little excuse for any healthy Boomer to not pursue some form of new learning.

Many of my patients (I specialized in medical massage therapy) assumed that I had many years of experience as a therapist, because they could not believe that I became a therapist so late in life.

My next goal is to be able to speak fluent Spanish six months after I finish writing my book.

So does any of this resonate with you? How are you spending your Boomer years? If you don’t have a debilitating illness, what’s your excuse for your physical and mental inactivity?

Are you having a tough time finding the motivation to get moving? I can provide you with the coaching you need to live an exciting healthy life!

Baby Boomers drive Citrus rental market – Citrus County Chronicle

Citrus County and the Homosassa Springs MSA have emerged as of one of the best markets in the nation for renting to Baby Boomers.

The conclusion came from an analysis of 40 markets where the Baby Boomer share of the population was above the national average of 25 percent and had increased at least 5 percent between 2007 and 2013.

They were also markets where potential annual rental returns were 9 percent or higher. Boomer areas with the highest annual rental returns included counties in the Tampa, Ocala, East Stroudsburg (Pennslyvania), Homosassa Springs (Citrus County) and Binghamton (New York) metro areas.

The  analysis was done by RealtyTrac, which looked at all U.S. counties with a population of 100,000 or mreo and sufficient home price and rental data.

Citrus County showed an annual gross rental yield of 15.3 percent In 2015, fair market rent for a three bedroom was $1,020, a 3-percent increase over 2014.

As of 2013 an estimated 36 percent of the county’s population was in the Baby Boomer bracket. From 2007 to 2013,  the county’s Boomer population increased by 36 percent.

Marion County showed a slight higher annual gross rental yield at nearly 17 percent with a fair market rent of $1,055.

“With homeownership rates at their lowest level in 20 years, historically low levels of housing starts and relatively low home prices in many parts of the country, there is sill plenty of opportunity in the U.S. housing market for single family rental investors employing a variety of investing strategies,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a news release.

“Whether focusing on markets where homeownership-shy millennials are migrating, markets where recovering Gen X homeowners turned renters are prevalent, or markets Baby Boomers are testing for retirement, investors can find good options with solid potential rental returns.”

To view the full report visit and click on news.


Characteristics of Baby Boomers – The Good And The Bad Involved

Each person is different in their own way. This makes him/her different from the others. Even siblings differ a lot. Still, with the distinct characteristics of every person, he/she still should be able to achieve a good relation with other people.

Lots of generations have existed and also exist now. For ages now, each and every one of them has a certain uniqueness that makes them different from the others. If you are a baby boomer, this would obviously be known by you.

What or rather who are baby boomers? The answer is that people born after the II World War are baby boomers who were babies born between 1946 and 1964, the prospering time of a country after war.

Baby Boomers have characteristics that are very different and unique when compared to that of the other generations. This maybe the result of the fact that they were brought up in an American Military dominated world. They lead life in a world which offers wonders like awesome gadgets and household appliances. During that time, you found unemployed individuals only very rarely. In other words, almost all the families lived a happy and prosperous life.

The academic leadership, political, cultural and also industrial classes are also dominated almost completely by the baby boomers. The prominent individuals, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are baby boomers and both illustrate diverging ranges of values and attitudes.

The baby boomers’ families have the maximum incomes in America. There are also early and late boomers and the generation is marked mostly by early boomers as late boomers did not experience military drafts. The late boomers were more identified by many cultural factors which they were even able to share.

The late boomers, also, are called as the X’s of the early generation. Presently, they are in a position where they wish to make a historical mark. The birth of baby boomers indeed makes history, and may even be the reason as to why they, in their right, are idealists. They are supposed to have a very big influence and impact over political and cultural matters. They belong to higher positions of power and the leaders there exhibit vision, decisiveness and can even withstand the worst of situations.

But baby boomers are famous not only for their positive attitude, but also for tendencies that are destructive like ruthlessness, arrogance and selfishness that can result in factional strife or outright despotism.

During the midlife of any baby boomer, they re-evaluate all things that have any relationship to their personal life. Those that have families concentrate on the success and failures obtained by their children as they want only what are best for them. A few boomers go even to the extent of directing and managing the lives of their children.

They are very much over-protective parents. They wish to sanitize everything that is seen by their children, even television programs. This is completely opposite to their childhood when they wanted to indulge everything with very few restrictions. Through their children, they wish to make improvements in the society.

Baby boomers, though being known as counter-cultural types and as hippies, also have interests in personal and social improvement. However, this, usually is exhibited after they become old.

Baby boomers were also greatly criticized for being anti – youth and ageist. This is evidenced further by the phrase ‘do not trust anyone who is over 30’. However, not all of them are like this. There are even those who follow the society’s social norms in their time.

All people, boomer or not, are all indeed important individuals who have the potential to contribute a lot for the world. People ought not to concentrate on the generation or era that they are from, but must make sure they do everything that will contribute to prosperity and peace of mankind.

Every person has characteristics that are positive as well as negative. Nobody is perfect, and it is an established fact. There are people who claim to be perfectionists. However this does not mean that they are perfect as people. It is only natural to make mistakes being a human being. But, the important thing is that one must learn from the experience given by the mistakes committed in the past. If you wish to improve your own self, you can do so. However, you must ensure that the improvement is for the better.

The Millennial vs. Baby Boomer Conflict at the Heart of 'Star Wars: The Force … – Flavorwire

Note: This essay contains spoilers about the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Like, real spoilers.

The rebellion against the evil First Order is in trouble, and Finn (John Boyega) has an idea. The young Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance-fighter, part of a new breed of Star Wars heroes, has put himself and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) into a sticky situation. But he has a solution: “We’ll figure it out! We’ll use the Force!” Solo, grizzled and and gray-haired, grumpily retorts, “That’s not how the Force works.” Kids these days, always looking for a shortcut, am I right?

J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens hones in on the family-drama aspect of George Lucas’ creation in a particular manner that makes very specific sense, given the contemporary cultural atmosphere. It’s the ultimate battle of good and evil, of light and dark – and also of “darn those kids and their selfies” and “you ruined the economy for us anyways”: the baby boomers and the millennials.

The most striking element of The Force Awakens is how overtly it juxtaposes its characters against a world – or universe, rather – that has fallen, that is decaying. Daisy Ridley’s Rey is seen hopping on a little makeshift sled as a gigantic ship from the Empire lies in the sand, dwarfing her. The planet she lives on, Jakku, is struck with a kind of poverty that seems even worse when compared to that of the decrepit and dusty Tatooine. Rey sells junk parts for rations of food, her family gone. Elsewhere, everything is in pieces, including the Millennium Falcon.

Harrison Ford in

The subtextual dialogue between generations isn’t as polemical as it has been in other recent films that have tacitly covered the subject, such as the horror film Unfriended, which takes a stance that’s in keeping with anti-millennial rhetoric. If one thing can bring people of all ages together, it’s Star Wars, even the more overtly political and controversial prequel films. But what’s particularly striking is the way that the generations inside and outside of the film function, both in terms of the characters and the audience. The presence of an inclusive cast and its retread of Star Wars’ narrative beats are like a reclamation of the original film trilogy (which was dominated by an all-white cast) by new voices, from Ridley and John Boyega to Lupita Nyong’o and Oscar Isaac (and Adam Driver, if you read Brooklyn hipsters as villains — which you might, after While We’re Young).

Father/son relationships are core to the Star Wars saga, but The Force Awakens’ intergenerational subtext makes that dynamic more potent contextually, with characters old and new explicitly in tension. Not to discount the importance of Luke and Vader’s relationship, but the interpersonal connections and the cross-generational appeal of Han Solo and Kylo Ren’s relationship is an interesting manifestation of baby boomer/millennial tension.

Boomers and millennials go at it in endless think pieces, often with the younger generation written off by the elders as narcisstic, lazy, and entitled. Kylo Ren embodies that rhetoric; once training to be a Jedi, he instead chose the path of the Dark Side for his own gain. (You know who also did that? Anakin Skywalker.) The latter blame their situations – economically and socially – on the previous generation. Ren is driven by power, and the film implies that he saw no benefit in training to be a Jedi. Perhaps paradoxically, while Kylo Ren exemplifies an argument that accuses a younger generation of being self-interested, he also debunks the claims of laziness, if not those of narcissism and entitlement. Regardless of the fact that he is taking orders from a quasi-Emperor Palpatine named Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), his stakes in the game are personal. Looking, nearly genuflecting, down upon the recovered, burnt mask of Darth Vader, he says, “I will finish what you started.” And while that sounds like his motivations are for some greater ideological cause, the origins of Darth Vader’s path to the Dark Side were personal.

The Star Wars universe – gradually decaying from film to film (chronologically) and its subtext becoming clearer – seems as broken as Gen Y writers posit reality is. Ross Pomeroy and William Handke scoff, “True entitlement is allowing the reasonable minimum wage that baby boomers enjoyed when they were our age to deteriorate while opting to cut taxes on the gains from stocks and bonds that they accrued during periods of debt-driven economic and stock-market surges – creating an economy where wage earners at all income levels, as of 2012, receive a smaller portion of economic output at any time since 1929.”

Kylo Ren, as the primary villain of the film, is the intersection of old and new, a convergence of both the arguments against and defenses of millennials. Ren is at once the primary character who would be the target of such claims of entitlement – in his desire for ultimate power – and the millennial who blames the previous generation of those that catalyzed the events that lead to galaxy’s current situation, in this case a governmental coup whose effects seemed to have had little positive effect in the Star Wars universe.

Adam Driver in

Baby boomers can give it as good as they can take it, and the gruff Han Solo and Chewbacca fire back as well as they ever did; there’s a clear sense of denial, in them, that their generation is accountable for how the galaxy operates now. The litany of allegations against millennials in the media represents an accusatory rhetoric, and, beyond Ren as the figurehead of the debate, it’s one that The Force Awakens does not abide by in the film.

It means, though, that heroes from this younger generation have to prove themselves in The Force Awakens. The subtle inclusion of concepts of validation and identity permeate the film, particularly in the various ways that Finn and Rey explore their identity through external factors: Finn does not define himself by the Stormtrooper helmet he once wore, and Rey evolves into someone who is not defined by her familial situation on Jakku. That Finn and Rey also represent a vision of Lucas’s universe that is more inclusive of both race and gender is both subtle and crucial to this flim’s subtext about the way millennials fixate on identity. The search for self-validation is an aspect of Gen Y’s proclivities which is written off – like selfies – but when such an exploration of identity proves useful, there’s a sense of validation for both the character and the audience. Rey’s background is mostly unknown to us; even her clothes are relatively nondescript, making her as much of an enigma as Luke Skywalker before her. But her versatility and acumen on the Millennium Falcon, an external factor to her identity, is enough to win Han Solo over. How one defines themselves via the intersections of factors like race, gender, and class — the core of identity politics — doesn’t impress an older generation: function and utility do.

The film’s supposedly throwaway references have been labeled as fan service, but contextually, such remarks as, “Is there a garbage chute?” – quipped by Han Solo on the Starkiller Base, when asked what to do with a captured Stormtrooper – suggest that the present generation must reconcile with the past, and vice versa. Though Abrams seems very interested in the friction and the dialogue surrounding this subject, he employs restraint (and humor) in approaching it. If the main dialectic of antagonism presents itself through the dynamic between Kylo Ren and his parents Han Solo and General Leia, then it allows Abrams to propose a version where both generations are able to save the galaxy. Abrams’ vision of the future is teamwork.

There’s a specific objective in mind, and the characters are forthright with their intentions. That these characters actively perform this intergenerational dialogue suggests that the subtext of the film is a future where the sins of the past are rectified by both the present and past generations. The ghosts of the past disappear in favor of a strategy or rhetoric more amiable and workable (in the form of bringing down Starkiller Base). Reconciliation with time and history even plays out, for comic purposes, between C-3PO and BB-8, who, while prodding R2-D2, is told that the latter droid has gone into low-power mode after the disappearance of Luke Skywalker. But it appears that dealing with the remnants of the past and picking up the pieces of the previous generation’s follies will be a crucial thematic through line throughout the new Star Wars trilogy.

The Best Saving Strategies for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials – Fox Business

dinner, family, meal, restaurant

If you’re looking to save more money in the new year — and really, who isn’t? — you’ll need a plan. The best saving strategy for you depends on what stage of life you’re in, as each phase carries its own particular financial responsibilities.

There’s no one-size-fits-all advice for saving, but here are a few generation-specific suggestions for getting the ball rolling.

Baby Boomers (51-69)

If you’re a Baby Boomer, you’re part of a massive generation (making up over a quarter of the American population) born between 1946 and 1964.

While you’re in better financial shape than your younger counterparts, the reality is that you probably don’t have much in your retirement account — only 60 percent of boomers report having any retirement savings — you likely don’t have a pension, and you’ve got pressing questions about Social Security and Medicare.

As a result, you’re likely feeling a bit unsettled, particularly since it’s crunch time. You’ve really got to get serious about saving, or you may have to alter your expectations and adjust your standard of living.

So what can you do? Here are a few ideas to safeguard your future.

  • Go back to work. Many boomers are, and the majority are doing so for financial reasons.
  • Try to get by with less. Is downsizing an option for you?
  • Accelerate your retirement savings.
  • Make sure your investments are allocated properly. Less than half of boomers are confident that theirs are.
  • Consider long-term care insurance.

And if you’re an empty-nester with kids who aren’t fully weaned off your wallet yet, consider prioritizing your own needs first. Sure, it’s human nature to want to take care of your children, but many boomer parents are doing so to the detriment of their own financial security. In fact, according to a study by Ameriprise Financial, 93 percent of boomer parents report providing financial support to adult children, 71 percent helped with college loans and tuition, and 53 percent helped them buy a car.

Gen Xers (36-50)

Most Generation X members, born between 1965 and 1979, are busy trying to advance their careers and raise families. Some are also caring for aging parents.

Managing cashflow, especially at this stage, is particularly challenging. After all, these are the most expensive years of your life. (Do you have any idea how much kids cost?)

Get into the habit of paying yourself first. Set aside a portion of your income the day you get paid, before you spend any discretionary money. The best strategy is to have someone else save for you, with your employer or your bank automatically taking money off the top of your paycheck for your retirement plan or other savings goals.

And avoid buying more home than you can afford. A big mortgage is a bad idea.

Millennials (19-35)

Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, actually tend to be a bit better than Gen Xers at day-to-day money management. However, they often live in the moment when it comes to financial decisions, and fail to prioritize long-term concerns — like retirement, for example. This group is the least likely to contribute to their employer’s retirement plan.

As for managing costs, let’s start with the big one: rent. Avoid paying it altogether, and live at home instead. After all, this is going to be your biggest expense. In many markets, rent eats up more than 30 percent of one’s monthly income.

When it comes to student debt, ridding yourself of this burden should be a top priority. Consider an income-based loan repayment plan.

To keep your discretionary spending in check, give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance, or you’ll end up splurging more often than not.

Technology can be a big help in better managing your money. Try a budgeting app like Mint to set goals and track spending.

And keep an eye on your credit score. If you want to buy a home someday, your score will feature prominently in the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for, and hence how much home you can afford.

What are some of the saving strategies that have worked for you?

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at

This Holiday Season, Talk to Your Baby Boomer Parents About Their Annoying … – Slate Magazine (blog)

Do your Baby Boomer parents know that games like Candy Crush still work even with the sound turned off?

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It’s almost Christmas, which means many Americans have returned to the homes of their Baby Boomer parents, like salmon slipping back upstream to gorge on spinach and artichoke dip. If you are one of those Americans, I come to you with an important request.

Ruth Graham is a regular Slate contributor. She lives in New Hampshire.

This holiday season, have the Talk with your Baby Boomer parents. It won’t be easy, but you can’t put it off forever. Sit them down, look them in the eye, and get serious: For the love of God, they absolutely must turn off all the extraneous sounds on their smartphones and tablets.

If you don’t know how to get the conversation started, here are some sample questions to ask the Baby Boomers in your life:

  • Do you really need audible alerts for every text message, email, and Facebook notification you receive? If so, do those alerts need to be set at the highest possible volume?
  • Did you know that Candy Crush and other games still work even with the sound turned off?
  • What if I told you that FaceTiming in public is considered rude, even antisocial?
  • Surprisingly, no one has been murdered in public based on their decision to keep “keyboard click” sounds turned on as they type. But do you really want to risk being first victim?
  • Is there a reason you want to hear all the notifications on your laptop, too?

I’m definitely not the only one to have noticed the phenomenon of Boomers leaving their smartphone noises turned on. In some ways it’s the classic story about older people hilariously bungling a new technology, which means we should have empathy: After all, that time will come for all of us. But in this case, the haplessness has real consequences: The people forced to share public space with Baby Boomers are losing their sanity.

The cause of the problem seems obvious enough: Boomers have eagerly adopted new technology, in part because they have the money to do so. Younger people may have a reputation for an obnoxious overreliance on their phones, but they also tend to have an intuitive sense of tech etiquette. Boomers, by contrast, are not digital natives; they obviously haven’t picked up on the etiquette norms, and in many cases they may not know how to toggle their settings to conform to them. Throw hearing loss into the mix and you have a recipe for a noisy nuisance.

That’s where you, the offspring, come in. This is crucial, because my fear is that Baby Boomers are not receiving clear messages about this scourge, and there’s no better source of real talk than immediate family members. Be gentle but firm. Keyboard clicks are widely considered infuriating. Audible notifications drive people crazy. Keeping the volume on while you play an iPhone game is unbelievably rude. And that camera-shutter sound really needs to be disabled. There’s a reason a 2009 anti-creepshot bill that would have required camera phones to make a sound when taking a picture failed to make it through Congress. (That bill was introduced by—you guessed it—a Baby Boomer, Peter T. King.)

Or you can keep the message even simpler: Phones should be silent in public. And then, if you really love your parents, go into their smartphone settings and turn off their notification sounds for them. Consider it a thoughtful Christmas gift—not only for your parents, but also for everyone who comes within earshot of them.

Canada’s Baby Boom and Suburbs

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Baby boomer trend: Golden years in poor health – HeraldNet


After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations.

The typical Medicare beneficiary who is 65 or older then will more likely be obese, disabled and suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure than those in 2010, according to a report by the University for Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics.

Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion. A massive influx of baby boomers into Medicare will be the main driver. With the last baby boomers turning 65 in 2029, Medicare rolls are expected to number 67 million Americans in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.

But costs per beneficiary could grow by 50 percent over the same time due to longer life expectancies, shifting health trends and medical cost inflation, the report said. In inflation-adjusted dollars, Medicare is projected to spend 72 percent more for the remaining lifetime of a typical 65-year-old beneficiary in 2030 than a 65-year-old in 2010.

“It’d be one thing if there was an increase in life expectancy while maintaining health, but this is different. If you have more people that are disabled, it’s more costly, and we’re paying more because they’re living longer,” said lead researcher Dana Goldman at the University of Southern California.

“In some ways, we are victims of our success” in extending lives and preventing mortality, he said. “We’ve done such a good job of preventing cardiovascular disease that now we have more cancer and Alzheimer’s.”

The average life expectancy for 65-year-olds is projected to rise by almost a year from the 2010 norm, to 20.1 years in 2030. People with disabilities at 65 will extend their old ages, too — by more than a full year, to 8.6 years in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.

Obesity is likely to surge, affecting 47 percent of Medicare elderly beneficiaries by 2030, up from 28 percent in 2010, according to the report.

“The people about to become eligible are more sick and obese (than past beneficiaries), even though there are treatments that will keep them living longer,” said Etienne Gaudette, a lead economist from the Schaeffer Center.

Significant increases in beneficiaries with these chronic conditions are also forecast by 2030:

Hypertension: 79 percent vs. 67 percent in 2010.

Heart disease: 43 percent vs. 36 percent.

Diabetes: 39 percent vs. 24 percent.

Three or more chronic conditions: 40 percent vs. 26 percent.

Smaller increases are forecast for elderly beneficiaries with cancer — 26 percent vs. 21 percent — and stroke — 19 percent vs. 14 percent. Lung disease is expected to see the slowest growth of all, about one percentage point to 16 percent.

That change is mostly due to Americans’ declining smoking habits. By 2030, 52 percent of Medicare’s beneficiaries will be lifelong non-smokers; only 43 percent were in 2010, the report said.

The Schaeffer Center’s report was published Nov. 28 in the Forum for Health Economics and Policy.


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