Stephen Pomeroy and William Handke join us to discuss how Millennials aren’t as entitled as you think. Baby Boomers should get some of the blame!
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Before baby boomers get on Medicare health insurance, they are fending for themselves in the health insurance market.
That does not mean there are not ways to save money on your baby boomer health insurance prior to age 65… it pays to shop around.
I am now 67, so I have been on Medicare for two years… and I will admit having nothing but catastrophic insurance for 16 years prior to turning 65… I took advantage of the savings that Medicare offers me right now.
There is certainly no guarantee that the savings that I am enjoying now will continue… especially with the new health care legislation looming… do not be surprised if everyone’s rates, including those over 65 go up when that kicks in.
So how can baby boomers save money on health insurance prior to age 65?
The simple answer is to go online and do your research… if you are reading this article that means that you are familiar with using the Internet for research and you should take advantage of the resources that the search engines offer.
My wife is 60, and noticed that her monthly health insurance bill went from $168 a month to $246 a month. after finding out online that cheaper programs offering essentially the same service were available from her current insurer… we called our current insurance carrier and signed up for a $182 a month policy. All with one simple phone call.
These money-saving opportunities are available to anyone willing to do some basic research online and spending a little time on the phone.
There are certain obstacles that prevent people from saving money, some of the most common are:
Fear of having to find a new doctor
Reluctance in changing from a company you are familiar with
Not willing to put up with a hassle of shopping around
You can find out online what insurance plans they accept… if in doubt call the office of your current Dr. and asked them what plans they do accept.
Some are reluctant to change from an insurance company that they have been with for a long time… Insurance companies are not dummies and they know that people are reluctant to switch… the reality is that companies often offer much lower rates to obtain new customers… it makes a lot of sense to switch insurance companies every three years or so.
The last reason that baby boomers are reluctant to attempt to save money on health insurance… is the hassle of spending the time on the phone… with your current insurance company or a new one.
I don’t like to spend a lot of time talking to salespeople on the phone either but when you look back on the opportunities to save money by doing so it seems to be a wise investment of time.
Learn how we saved $64 a month on my wife’s insurance… with a 20 minute investment of our time… well worth it don’t you think?
It seems weirdly appropriate that, for a long time, talking about anything “millennial” was a way of hinting at the apocalypse. Today, “Millennial,” usually refers to the generation of people born, depending on your definition, sometime between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.
But during most of that period, “millennial” referred to an attitude, a lens through which people viewed the near future.
“The year 2000 fast approaches,” James Atlas wrote in 1989, “and millennial doom is in the air. Global warming, nuclear proliferation, chaos in Eastern Europe. Even the notion of post is over. Post-modernism, post-history, post-culture … we’re beyond that now.”
In 1994, The New York Timesdescribed “millennial thinking,” as an outsized appreciation for new technology, comparing a burgeoning culture in which “the pursuit of computer technology’s outer edge” mirrored the previous generation that had “staked out the frontiers of sex, drugs, and rock” in the 1960s.
“A Millennium is looming,” Richard Taruskin, the music critic, mock-warned in 1997, apparently fed up with all the prognosticating. Leading up to the year 2000, we were all millennials—bracing for a new century, living at a time of uncertainty. Which is funny because, in the post-9/11 world (turns out ‘post’ wasn’t over after all), that uncertainty would be recast as hype—silly fears from the ignorant bubble of the 1990s; misguided focus on crises, like Y2K, that didn’t destroy us after all.
But now, if you ask anyone who isn’t one and some of those who are, Millennials are what’s destroying us. They are accused of being lazy, entitled, coddled, and narcissistic. They’re ruining the workforce, the country, and, apparently, Thanksgiving.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Every generation since the invention of the teenager has come of age to eye-rolling from the grown-ups who grew up before them. In 1964, when the toddlers of the post-war Baby Boom were fully-fledged teens, the writer Martha Weinman Lear, described the new generation thusly:
There they stand, on a big threshold and awesomely hip. They cut their baby teeth on television, sharpened their bite on space, grew up to marry sooner, pay later, become dropouts and juvenile delinquents, crowd the colleges and the Peace Corps, act distressingly complacent and painfully idealistic, head straight for hell and be the bright new hope of tomorrow. In short, to mess briefly with Dickens, they are the best of teens, they are the worst of teens, and they are surrounded by adults who know one view or the other to be absolutely true.
Boomers, the 75 million or so people born between 1946 and 1964, were derided for their obsession with instant communication (sound familiar?)—“the instant joke, the instant fad, the instant dance, the instant celebrity, instantly communicated by television and relays of disk jockeys from coast to coast,” as Lear put it. The girls dressed too casually and had (gasp!) pierced ears. Teenagers used slang like “gear” and “tuff” (when they meant “fabulous”) and “animal” and “skag” (when they meant “jerk”).
“The communication may be faster, but the herd instinct is no greater than it used to be,” Lear wrote. “Beatlemania has nothing on the raccoon coat, the Big Apple, or those ‘Three Little Fishes in an Itty‐Bitty Pool.’”
Those little fishies were the subject of a No. 1 song in 1939. A tune that, to a certain generation, still evokes, well, something. I suppose, like anything, you had to be there.
“We’re also constantly reminded that decades define us,” John Allen Paulos wrote for The New York Times in 1995. “Is there anything more vapid? In the free-love, anti-war 60s, hippies felt so-and-so; the greed of the 80s led yuppies to do such and such; sullen and unread Generation X-ers (Roman numeral Ten-ers?) never do anything. We should brace ourselves for the millennial fatuities to come in the year 1999.”
Though Paulos seemed to have been referring to the time period, and not just the youths of the era, his use of “millennial” was at least semi-prescient. The term, as a name for a generation of young people, wouldn’t be fully established for more than a decade. Older Millennials—people who were in high school in the second half of the 1990s—used to be known as Generation Y, echoing Generation X that came before them. (The Times, in 2009, defined Generation Y as anyone born between roughly 1980 and 2003.) Some old Millennials and not-quite-Millennials disassociate themselves from the Millennial designation altogether.
“I’m not Gen X and I’m not a Millennial either,” the writer Doree Shafrir tweeted in 2011. “I’m some low-birthrate in-between thing. WHO WILL SPEAK FOR ME.”
Shafrir, who wrote an insightful essay for Slate about the suggestions she received—Generation Jem, for example—settled on Generation Catalano, a reference to the short-lived but beloved television show My So-Called Life, which first aired in 1994. “This urge to define generations is also about a yearning for a collective memory in an increasingly atomized world, at least where my generation is concerned,” Shafrir wrote. “Indeed, where the Millennials tend to define themselves in terms of the way they live now, people in my cohort find fellowship more in what happened in the past, clinging to cultural totems as though our shared experiences will somehow lead us to better figure out who we are.”
Shafrir was right, but not entirely. Millennials, even before 2011 when she wrote that essay, were and are obsessed with nostalgia as a way of establishing an identity. That’s a human trait, not a generational one. (See also: this hat and this 1970 Life magazine cover.) Longing for the past obviously isn’t always a good thing. (See also: this smart Rebecca Onion essay, for Aeon, about how generational thinking confirms preconceived prejudices.) It is, at the very least, an unwieldy framework for making sense of one’s place in time and culture. And that because the way people define generations shifts. Generations themselves change, which is to say, people change.
In 1992, The Atlantic tried coining “Thirteeners” as an alternate term for Generation X. Here’s how the writers Neil Howe and William Strauss described how they came up with the it:
America’s thirteenth generation, born from 1961 to 1981, ranging in age from eleven to thirty-one. Demographers call them Baby Busters, a name that deserves a prompt and final burial. First, it’s incorrect: The early-sixties birth cohorts are among the biggest in U.S. history—and, at 80 million, this generation has numerically outgrown the Boom. By the late 1990s it will even outvote the Boom. Second, the name is insulting—”Boom” followed by “Bust,” as though wonder were followed by disappointment. The novelist Doug Coupland, himself a 1961 baby, dubs his age-mates “Generation X” or “Xers,” a name first used by and about British Boomer-punkers. Shann Nix, a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, suggests “posties” (as in “post yuppies”), another name that, like Coupland’s, leaves the generation in the shadow of the great Boom.
We give these young people a nonlabel label that has nothing to do with Boomers. If we count back to the peers of Benjamin Franklin, “Thirteeners” are, in point of fact, the thirteenth generation to know the U.S. flag and the Constitution. More than a name, the number thirteen is a gauntlet, an obstacle to be overcome. Maybe it’s the floor where elevators don’t stop, or the doughnut that bakers don’t count. Then again, maybe it’s a suit’s thirteenth card—the ace—that wins, face-down, in a game of high-stakes blackjack. It’s an understated number for an underestimated generation.
“Thirteeners” never caught on. “Generation X” became the accepted term for a loosely defined generation the way “Millennials” has. Similarly, back when Millennials were still being called Generation Y, there were other suggestions for post-1980 babies, like “echo boomers” and the “baby boomlet,” a reference to the parents of these babies. “Why not just call them the Tamagotchi Generation?” Linda Lee wrote for The New York Times in 1997, referring to a fad electronic toy of the time. “They like things technological and cute (like the 1995 movie “Babe”); they are open to the global marketplace and insist on their right to irony.”
Perhaps it’s worth underscoring here that, at the time when cultural critics were first deriding this new generation’s values, tens of millions of Millennials hadn’t even been born yet.
Back in 1994, Rich Cohen, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, playfully described babies of the era as the Small Generation, “a group born after the Rodney King affair but before Rwanda … a generation that has known no President other than Bill Clinton and seems likely to call Hillary Clinton mother.”
“The Small Generation shows real discomfort when presented with the American way of life,” Cohen wrote. “Not only have they shunned traditional careers (almost none of them work), they have a sailor’s disregard for hygiene. They pick their noses and soil their briefs and cry about it, expecting someone else to clean up the mess.”
The joke was: They’re babies. The thing Cohen was actually lampooning, though, was the widespread obsession with generational boundaries, and the predictable narratives that this preoccupation fosters.
“If being a resented older generation is a novel experience for Boomers, and if life on the short end feels ruinous to Thirteeners, each group can take a measure of solace in the repeating generational rhythms of American history,” Howe and Strauss wrote for The Atlantic in 1992. “About every eighty or ninety years America has experienced this kind of generation gap between self-righteous neopuritans entering midlife and nomadic survivalists just coming of age.”
And given that the post-Millennial generation is only a few years away from heading off to college, and just a few more removed from entering the workforce, the cycle is poised to repeat itself.
On Aug. 5, 1981, in response to a massive strike that threatened to ground all of American air travel, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers at airports across the United States. In the immediate aftermath, military controllers filled in, but ultimately, the seasoned, striking controllers were replaced by a group of young upstarts.
Now those upstarts are retiring, and once again we’re facing a drastic shortage of trained air traffic controllers. Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general issued an alarming report arguing that, in the coming years, it will be difficult for the Federal Aviation Administration to keep fully trained and adequately experienced eyes on radar screens at some of the nation’s busiest airports. The “FAA has not yet established an effective process for balancing training requirements with pending retirements,” the Office of Inspector General says in a statement—even though prior reports had highlighted the same issue in 2012, 2002, and 1986. Even in 1981, when Reagan first lowered the ax, anyone capable of simple math could have seen the issue coming: New hires, all roughly the same age, would eventually retire at roughly the same time. But then and now, very little was done.
This might sound like a minor pain at worst. The labor market tends to sort itself out, after all. If there aren’t enough controllers, then the FAA just has to entice applicants by offering a higher starting wage, right?
Unfortunately, that isn’t happening, and the controller shortage is already here. The FAA has a staffing plan in place for its critical facilities through 2017, but as the Office of Inspector General has pointed out, because trainees often count as full-fledged controllers at air traffic facilities, many are effectively understaffed at this very moment. And, as many control tower managers report, “on-the-job training requirements for trainees limit their contribution.”
Shortages in crucial workforces aren’t limited to air traffic. Across sectors, the aging of the baby boomers is leading to heightened retirement rates. In certain fields, that’s no big deal. Postal workers, for instance, constitute the oldest workforce of any industry, but their retirement will be relatively manageable, because entry-level Postal Service positions don’t require much training.
Retirement is also a relative nonissue for fields with high barriers to entry—as long as those fields contain exceedingly desirable jobs. No one’s worried about a retirement brain drain in the personal tech sector or investment banking, for instance. And in certain medical specializations, such as dermatology, there are plenty of new workers every year.
But almost across the board, jobs that are less than sexy and have high barriers to entry are now practically begging for trained workers. Within medicine, general practitioners and, ironically, geriatricians fall into this category. In the broader economy, entire sectors are experiencing retirement pressure. Take agriculture: As of 2012, the average age of principal farm owners is 58.3; 12 percent of them are older than 75. (Because it’s very expensive to buy a farm or start a new one, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has debuted a service that helps young, well-trained farmers work with older owners toward taking over their farms.)
Energy production and distribution companies—which already rely on an aging workforce that is more than a decade older than the average American worker—are desperate to find new talent. Not even the venerable Hoover Dam is exempt. “Roughly two-fifths of the workforce at the federal facility will be eligible to retire within five years, leaving the Bureau of Reclamation scrambling to recruit and train skilled workers while keeping one of the nation’s most important water and power facilities operational,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
In these cases and many others, should a large number of older workers retire en masse like they’re threatening to do, even raising wages for entry-level positions wouldn’t necessarily fill the gap left behind, because years of specialized training are required, and there’s a fixed number of trainees in the pipeline. It adds up to a system that’s not flexible enough to respond to the sudden changes that are very likely on the way. And in the meantime, the nation’s lights need to be kept on, the sick need to be healed, and aircraft need to be kept in the air. A three- to five-year period with understaffed vital economic areas, from air traffic control towers to wheat fields, is simply not an option.
Despite its birthrate, which is well below the replacement rate, the United States is in much better demographic shape than many other developed countries. Most importantly, it does not have a shrinking population—a fact it owes almost entirely to immigration. In countries such as Italy, Japan, and Germany, population loss is direr, and the lack of young workers in key roles is more acutely felt. In Germany, for instance, 2 out of 3 small- to medium-sized firms surveyed told accountancy firm Ernst and Young that it was difficult to find qualified workers. More than half of those surveyed said they believed the country’s recent influx of refugees from Syria would help alleviate the shortage.
Even the U.S.’s robust immigration can’t help the defense industry, whose classified work—involving positions ranging from office workers to engineers to welders—often requires extensive background checks and U.S. citizenship. And in other fields, no one wants to do those jobs, period. Even the last professionals you’ll ever encounter—funeral directors and morticians—are well into their 50s on average and aren’t being replaced as they retire.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the waves of retirements now facing the U.S. is how predictable it all has been. The government and private sector alike should have been actively working to counteract these forces, shepherding students to specialize in high-value, low-visibility fields. Instead, we may well face a harrowing stretch of years when our most expert professionals go missing from the positions where they’re needed most.
Contributing to the problem are attractive fields such as investment banking and computer programming. (Wall Street firms, which are taking measures to avoid losing top talent to Silicon Valley, still have no trouble filling entry-level seats.) Part is due to a communication breakdown between demographers and the general public. To the extent that the need for science, technology, engineering, and math training gets through to students, vital information about what to do with that training doesn’t. Proficiency in STEM alone does not guarantee a career that is mission-critical to a functioning society.
But the bulk of the issue is far is simpler: We don’t like to think about old age and what it means. The media generally doesn’t want to cover it, and people don’t want to read about it. It’s just a little too real and makes us just a little too uncomfortable. So, far too often, we grapple with the broad effects of aging only when it’s too late to avoid a bad outcome.
In the near future, thanks to declining birth rates, the aging of the baby boom, and extended longevity, more of the population will be older than ever before. Let’s not ignore what’s perhaps the biggest fully predictable change we’re facing as a society, simply because old age is challenging to think about. Life begins, and life ends. Once we accept that, we can work to make sure that what we do in the middle is as worthwhile as it can possibly be.
Did you know that there is a new term for baby boomers?
According to Gerontologist Dr. David J. Demko they are called zoomers. These are a totally new kind of boomer, they are boomers who break retirement tradition.
Demko says these new boomers are coloring outside the lines, zig-zaging and zoooooming toward a bright new horizon chock-full of possibilities for reinventing retirement and redefining what it means to be a mature adult in the new millennium.
Are you a BOOMER?
You are if your birthday falls between 1946 and 1964. That birth period defines you as one America’s the Post-World-War-II Baby Boomers. However, birth dates alone don’t tell you much about how a person thinks or acts. Not all Boomers think and act the same.
Some Boomers are breaking new ground, re-defining aging and re-inventing retirement. That’s why Demko coined the term ZOOMER to identify this trend-setting group of Boomers.
It is anticipated that there will be one million boomers that will live to 100 years of age. The question is, will you be one of them?
There are some things you can do to ensure that you will be someone who will be living a long, satisfying life of a zoomer.
You will know difference between primary (inevitable) aging and secondary (reversible) aging.
Daily exercise (aerobics for endurance, anaerobics for strength, and neurobics for brain power
You will be aware of your daily nutritional and caloric needs based you age, gender, and weight
You will be involved in a social support system of companions, close friends, and confidante
You will have a positive self-concept, and a passion for living life to the fullest
You will have the necessary resources to live an adventurous life thanks to sound retirement plannin Become a part of the Retirement Renaissance… a bold, new brand of maturity… advocating spirited, adventurous lifestyles
I predict, quality of life illusions about a Baby Boomer Retirement, could be seen as a depressing thing. Perhaps by association, many are predicting that another passage in life has to be a minute before the wheelchairs and graveyards.
Quite the contrary! The first generation, Baby Boomers, 1946-1964, are about to retire; and actually, we are quite the spunky crowd, proud of our title and our future potential. Why?
Baby Boomers are high spirited junkies of life, living out every moment as we have throughout the years. We lived in self-indulged ignorance of anything holding us back from living life to the fullest. What year do you think the classic TV show, “The Best Years of our Lives” originated, yet here it is, still being shown every Christmas to date. It identifies with all generations, and illustrates that whatever the gloom and doom any era is presented with, it is, and always will be, “the best years of our lives.” This best loved number #1 show was created and aired in 1946.
In addition, Dr. Benjamin Spock was the American Idol of Parents, embraced by nervously quivering Baby Boomers who celebrated their first born child at the time. Like many things that grow old from generation to generation, Spock’s idea’s became worn and bested by psychologists and Parents who knew better, but Boomers rally the hero of our time when we needed that advice from the good Doctor.
We could also gripe about how much our beloved, “Tide” cost today, as we sentimentally browse the grocery store aisles, trying to decide to go for the best brand detergent or the cheapest. Our loyalties lie with Tide, because it was the very first detergent also used in the very first automatic washing machine back in 1946. Sentiment wins over poverty…Tide gets all the stains out!
Of course along with the Automatic Washer comes the first Electric Dryer. No more clothes hanging out on clotheslines for hours on end, and caught in the rain before we could hurriedly take them down. So, right out of our automatic washing machines with our Tide clean clothes, they quickly go into our lint-free dryers.
Here is yet another mind boggling thought…featuring the beloved world of ice cream.
In 1946, American’s held the record for eating 714 million gallons of ice cream.
Must have been a very hot year for Boomers in 1946 in more ways than one!
It really is fun to look back on historical events in our lives and grab a smile or two about how things “use” to be, especially things like the cost of “petrol .” That’s a hot issue, so, let’s not go there!
But Boomer Grandparents are generally not your white-haired, cane walking, senile types that give way to sitting around the house watching TV. No, they work out; they are computer literate; they do the “Electric Slide” with the grandkids; and yes, my five-year-old grandson beat me at bowling, tennis and baseball, on the infamous “Wii” game, BUT, I beat him at Golf, so lookout world, the Baby Boomers can, and will, keep up! It is after all, “The Best Years of our Lives!”
“Do you need a retirement coach?” was a recent article on money.cnn.com by Paul Keegan a Fortune Magazine contributor. The article covers a coaching session with a successful retired business man named Bud, who has it all. After 38 years of working, he’s has a great girlfriend and the time to spend with her, his kids, grand kids, as well as doing things like traveling and enjoying his pool and multiple sports cars; but Bud says “I felt lost.” referring to his retirement.
There is a massive population of retirees facing the same circumstances and with it, the same feelings. Why is this? Well for starters here in the great USA, we culturally associate our value with our career. We are taught, we are the value of what we do and who we provide for. So, although we are taught to work hard in order to be able to comfortably enjoy our retirement. Most retire and have similar experiences to Bud. A feeling of being lost, unhappy or unsettled.
As has always been the case with baby boomers, they shift the entire market with their dollars and today going forward, those dollars will be looking for purpose, happiness and fulfillment. What’s different with baby boomers, as compared to other generations looking for the same things? Besides their obvious collective purchasing power, in terms of consumption, they’ve already been there and done that. Most of them have bought, owned and sold homes, cars, and every other gadget they’ve wanted. They’ve already had their children and some of them have also had the vacations and experiences they’ve wanted. The rest of the baby boomers will get those experiences out of the way in the first five years of retirement and with the average retiree living 20 years after their working life ends, that leaves a lot of time to fill.
Now, with all that consumption under their proverbial belts, they will be coming into retirement a little wiser than previous generations, about what money and stuff does and doesn’t provide. Now wiser and knowing that the next eight blade razor won’t buy them love and the next Subaru won’t make their family life any more happy…
What will these boomers be looking to for their happiness?
It’s a big questions and it will be coming from some very successful people, just like Bud. People who are well adjusted to our work focused and title driven society. Life Coaches are the only field trained to work with these kinds of people and handle these kinds of questions. Psychologists, therapists, counselors and even doctors are all trained to work with people who are falling behind “normal” they are trained to look for problems, disorders, psychosis and illness.
Baby boomers will be looking into the growing field of life coaching for the type of help which, no generation before has had the luxury of looking.
They will be looking for happiness, fulfillment, peace, passion and purpose! Because of their unique generational experiences, coming into their retirement years, they are really the first generation to be asking provocative questions like…
“What’s the purpose of life, my life?
What am I here for now that I no longer need to earn a living or work to support myself and others?
So as the baby boomers have done so many times before, they will drive the market to cater to their needs for purpose, passion, power, love, and freedom in this new phase of their lives and development. We’d be wise to watch what the baby boomers demand in this new phase. They will affect more than the way we all look at retirement. These normal, successful and wise people are not in need of the ‘problem focused’ services of the past. This is why I believe more and more successful American retirees will be turning to Life Coaches verses the consumer products with empty promises. I assert they will shift the way this entire country looks at their work life as well!
An interesting benchmark for baby boomers growing old is the movie stars who made the movies we grew up with. Sometimes it happens when you are watching a movie made in the sixties or seventies and you realize how young everybody looks. Sometimes it’s when you see one of those leading men or women today as septuagenarians.
Even if we don’t really feel all that old in other aspects of our life, for some reason seeing the stars of stage and screen – people who we always admired for their photogenic appearance and on screen coolness – living through their own aging process makes ours feel a little more noticeable.
Of course, making a career out of impressing others how good looking you are – not to mention your acting talents of course – has a big downside. Few people remain beautiful forever. That’s why, for the rest of us, getting older is just part of the process of living.
In fact, depending on what you do, or did, for a living, being a part of the aging baby boomer generation can have its benefits. After all, we are the can-do generation. We staked our generational reputation on changing things, and making things happen. It’s how we grew up, and it still persists today.
Sometimes seeing icons like Redford or Streisand can be a little sobering, particularly when you remember them in their heyday. But then seeing guys like Gates or Jobs makes you realize what our generation was able to accomplish. Few people have achieved the success of any of these people, but baby boomers are proud of their accomplishments nevertheless.
It’s important for Boomers not to lose that sense of accomplishment. We still have a lot of life to live and a long way to go. More and more boomers are realizing that even if they could retire – in other words if the Great Recession hadn’t come along and cleaned out their retirement accounts – they probably wouldn’t. There’s still too much to do, too many things to see, too many mountains to climb and too many challenges to conquer.
Boomers are the generation that coined the term “couch potato” and we are also the generation that unilaterally decided that being a couch potato is an unacceptable past time. Boomers love to get out and about. Boomers want to make things happen.
That’s why so many boomers are turning their personal passions into personal businesses. They get to do what they love to do, and then to make money doing it. For a lot of people today, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Many experts agree that movement is a fundamental part of living a long life. The more active you are, the healthier you stay. Sitting around all day pondering all of the years gone by is a sure way to shorten the number of years to come.
It’s time to join the boomer party. Regardless of where you are in your career – whether you’re winding it down, or finished with it altogether – it’s time to start a new one. Find something you love and make it happen. Even if you’re an aging movie star, you still have plenty of time left.
Baby Boomers are about to explode in numbers into the retiring population, changing the face of aging in the United States. Active Baby Boomers are generally 47-54 and still in the workforce. Older Baby Boomers (56-64) are either retiring early or preparing for retirement. According to an article on Realtor.com, “The Boomer Effect” by author John Van Gieson, statistics forecast 10,000 Baby Boomers a day will retire in the next 20 years. This sets the stage for the doubling of the aging population in the decades to come. Because of the implosion this will create on the American economy and Social Security and Medicare, this aging Boomer population has been dubbed the ‘silver tsunami.’
At the same time this population ages, life expectancy is extended for this group largely because of medical technology. This combination of factors sets the stage for a very particular group with specific housing needs pre and post retirement.
Though some Boomers may have lost property and jobs during the recession, many held onto their homes and kept equity in their homes. The financially secure Baby Boomers are ready to make a move or an investment. As the real estate market continues to repair from the great recession, some of these Boomers are considering a move now. This may involve downsizing from a large family home to a property with no exterior maintenance. Meanwhile, many Active Boomers, looking onward towards retirement, desire second homes and investment properties.
What geographic areas in the U.S. will the silver tsunami prefer?
Some Boomers may purchase property in Florida. But Florida will no longer be the mecca for retired homeowners, as it was for many years. Current trends indicate this generation of Boomers will tend to purchase properties in the Mid-South region in places like Virginia, the Carolinas and Tennessee.
Virginia Homes for Sale Desirable for Boomers
According to the U.S. Census, population across the state of Virginia grew 3.2% between 2010 and 2013. In my own geographic region, Williamsburg and James City County, population increased 5.2% during the same time period. Williamsburg, James City and York Counties have always been popular retirement locations, and as statistics indicate – this trend will continue. The historic triangle is a popular place in Virginia to purchase a home because the region is family oriented, rich in history, and has ample dining and entertainment opportunities, with easy access to larger urban areas such as Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond.
Virginia Recommended for Retirement by Marketwatch.com
In 2013, a writer from Marketwatch.com, a savvy online financial publication, recommended locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia as ideal for retirement. Locations included: Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Roanoke, Winchester and Charlottesville. Virginia’s low(er) property tax rates compared to Northeastern states, its central location in the Mid-South (making it convenient to Northern cities and states) and its mild climate with four seasons were cited as reasons for retiring here.
Current trends in purchasing real estate for the Baby Boomers: Aging in Place
The aging in place lifestyle is a desirable one for many, especially those who do not wish to end up in retirement communities, but would rather be in their own home while they age. For the Boomer who wants to age in place, selecting the right property will allow this person this choice, without moving. First floor dwellings with attached garages as well as no exterior maintenance of a property are some characteristics of a residence where one may easily age in place. Boomers are also looking for homes convenient to shopping, doctors, children and grandchildren.
How are Boomers’ Housing Needs Defined?
Often a Boomer’s housing needs close to or nearing retirement will shift. Many will require less space than the family home once provided, – perhaps considering a 1,000-2,000 square feet home rather than 3,000-4,000. Preference will be given to homes with easy entrance and exits on the first floor with none – or very few – steps.
For the Boomer wanting to purchase a second home intended as a retirement property for a full time residence at a later date, the same parameters may apply. A desirable location in a quiet area with low property taxes (maybe even out-of-state) will be the most likely impetus for a move for many Boomers.
As the Baby Boomers mature and become the ‘silver tsunami,’ expected lifespans are lengthening, too. So, if a Boomer retires at 60 or 65, he or she may enjoy another 15 to 20 years of independence, provided good health prevails. Choosing the right housing for retirement is an important decision that will potentially impact a Boomer for decades to come and should be thought out carefully. Rely on a professional REALTOR to help make the right choice in purchasing a home for retirement.
76 million baby boomers will reach retirement age in the next 18 years. Baby boomers being defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.
They comprise the largest population group in US history, 28% of the current citizenry. Never has a single group been more targeted by advertisers and marketers.
As far as baby boomer retirement is concerned, the current US economy has some wondering if they can ever retire. Poor interest rates on savings, poor stock market performance, have encouraged consumption at the expense of the retirement nest egg.
As a result, 25% have no retirement savings; another 25% has $25,000 or less. Consequently, 72% of baby boomers expect to be working in retirement. Not what they had planned but a reality nonetheless.
Retiring boomers still want sun and sand in their retirement plans…Arizona, Florida and the Carolinas being the favorite states to retire to in 2010.
More and more will choose to relocate overseas for their retirement. The countries closest to the US, that offer frugal retirement living are Mexico (the most popular), Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil are also becoming popular with baby boomers retiring.
In these countries you can expect to live well on $2,000 a month…some as little as $1,000 a month. If traditional retirement, not working, appeals to you consider going south of the border. With domestic help being available for $200 a month in most of these countries…your boomer retirement lifestyle can be considered a better lifestyle, than how you live now.
Do not let health care be thought of as a negative in these countries…it is good to excellent at a fraction of the cost that you pay in the US.
For instance, in Costa Rica, with 50,000 Americans living there now, health care is exceptional with the advantage of small clinics and getting prescription drugs from a pharmacist instead of requiring a trip to the doctor. Panama recently opened a Mayo Clinic.
Some say there is no place like home. Fine, but you will be much more likely to have to work in retirement than those that choose to retire overseas. Is it all roses, overseas?…No, it requires a spirit of adventure and some flexibility.