Showing posts with label statistics about baby boomers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label statistics about baby boomers. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Statistics About Senior Citizens

Sitting too much can lead to an early death.
The February 29, 2016 issue of Time Magazine contained a large section that was dedicated to aging ... far more information than can be relayed in one blog post.  As a result, additional information will be shared over the next couple of weeks.

This week's post contains some of the fascinating statistics Time provided about people in the U.S. over the age of 45.

Time Magazine's Statistics about Senior Citizens

*  Since 2003, there has been an 11 percent increase in the number of people over age 75 who are married.

*  57 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 admit they spend 7 hours or more a day being sedentary.

*  Sedentary behavior, specifically sitting all day, is a risk factor for earlier death.

*  45 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 exercise three or more times a week (which means that 55 percent do not get exercise at least three times a week.)

*  47 percent of Americans over the age of 75 take five or more prescription drugs every day.

*  29 percent of Americans ages 65 to 69 still work for pay.

*  Since 2000, only one Alzheimer's drug has been approved, out of 244 that have been tested.

*  "Diet is by far the most powerful intervention in delaying aging and age-related diseases," according to Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern California's Longevity Institute.  Their research shows that when people periodically fast, they lower their risk factors for age-related diseases.

*  When people were put on a low-calorie, low-protein diet for five days a week, with approximately 34% to 54% fewer calories than was normal for them, after three months they had lower rates of aging, diabetes, heart disease, blood sugar, and cancer.    

*  Cancer risk increases about 400% for Americans who get 20% or more of their calories from protein, compared to people who get only about 10% of their calories from protein.

*  Mindfulness meditation reduces stress and appears to slow biological aging by stabilizing your telomeres.

*  A 2011 study published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" revealed that older people who reported they were the least happy died at almost twice the rate in the next five years as people who reported they were the most happy.  Happier people also retained their physical functions, such as walking speed, longer.

*  Social Security is the sole source of income for one in four recipients.  By 2033, payroll taxes at the current rate will only be enough to pay 77 percent of promised benefits.  One possible solution is raising or removing the cap on annual earnings that are subject to the Social Security tax.  The limit is currently $118,500.  (Some smaller actions have already been taken to save Social Security, such as eliminating the file and suspend option.)

Summary of the Time Magazine Findings

If you wanted to sum up the statistics about senior citizens in America today, it would boil down to the fact that each of us needs to eat less food, particularly less protein, exercise more, meditate more and cultivate a more positive outlook on life.  Saving additional money towards retirement would be a good idea, too.

Want to know more about aging and retirement?  Use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles on retirement, where to retire, common medical issues, financial planning and more.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Americans are Aging and Changing

The Baby Boomer generation is getting older and lifespans in general are increasing.  As a result  the United States is aging rapidly.  Recently, I attended "The State of Aging in Orange County," a seminar put on by the Office on Aging and other agencies in Orange County, California.  The speakers were outstanding and over the next few weeks this blog will contain posts on some of the information that was covered during the seminar.

In particular, most Baby Boomers will be interested in some of the general facts that were brought up by the speakers.

Redefining What it Means to be Old

Karen Roper, who is Director of OC Community Services and oversees the Office on Aging, the Veterans Service Bureau and several other agencies, said they are working to redefine what it means to be old.  Rather than basing it on someone's age, they want to define it based on a person's functional ability.  After all, she pointed out, some people can be in their 80's or 90's and still be able to live on their own and take care of their shopping, housework, cooking, etc.  On the other hand, a person who is in their 50's or 60's might be suffering from a number of medical conditions, including early onset dementia, which might make it difficult for them function independently at all.  Which person should be considered "old?"

The U.S. Population is Aging Rapidly

Michael Schrader, the Chief Executive Officer of CalOptima, presented fascinating statistics regarding how quickly the American population is aging.  In 2015, there are approximately 40 million people over the age of 65.  Over the next ten years, by 2025, the population of people over the age of 65 will increase by 50% to 60 million.

Social Security and Medicare Will Need to be Reformed

Mr. Schrader revealed that over that same ten year period, Social Security costs are expected to increase by 77% and Medicare costs by 89%.  This is unsustainable without some types of reforms. As was recently mentioned in this blog, one change has already been made in order to save the government money in Social Security expenditures. It was part of the 2015 budget agreement.  The SSA has now eliminated an option couples used to have for maximizing their benefits ... the file and suspend option. 

Among other changes that are being considered are:

* Raise the minimum ages to receive both Social Security and Medicare benefits
* Increase the co-pays and other forms of cost sharing for Medicare beneficiaries
* Change to a need based voucher system for Medicare benefits

New Approaches to Administering Medicare and Medicaid

CalOptima is also experimenting with a new system to make Medicare benefits more efficient, cost effective and easier to use for beneficiaries who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California).  Many of the people who qualify for both have to deal with four different programs ... Medicare Part A, Medicare part B, Medicare part D, and Medicaid.  Since these people frequently have dementia or other health issues, dealing with all these different  programs is overwhelming.  CalOptima is experimenting with combining all four of those programs into one, adding on dental and vision services, and providing case carriers to assist the recipients.  They believe that reducing the fragmentation will make the program operate more efficiently and less expensively.  In addition, beneficiaries will only have one phone number to call and one person to deal with, which should make things more manageable.

If the CalOptima program works here in Orange County, it will be spread to other parts of the United States.

In the coming weeks, this blog will contain additional information that was provided during the State of Aging seminar ... interspersed with other topics of interest to Baby Boomers.

If you are looking for additional information on retirement planning, coping with health issues, finding good places to retire, changing family relationships or more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles on a variety of subjects.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fascinating Statistics about Baby Boomers

What does it mean to be a Baby Boomer?  As we have all been told repeatedly over the years, we are the generation that was born after the end of World War II, in the years between 1946 and 1964.  Once the war was over, the soldiers returned home, got married and started families.  These young soldiers and their wives, who still remembered the Great Depression that preceded the war, were proud to buy their first homes in the suburbs where they hoped to provide a better life for their children than the one they had known before the war.  These children became known as Baby Boomers.

The very existence of the Baby Boomer generation has had a tremendous impact on American society, beginning with the need to construct new schools when we were children and, later, started families of our own.  Now that we are reaching age 65 at the rate of 10,000 a DAY, we will also be having a tremendous effect on both America's medical system and retirement system.

Although it is easy to make generalities about any group of people, the truth is that you cannot lump us all together.  We are a complicated bunch of people who embrace every political, economic, religious and philosophical aspect of American life.  When I do research for this blog, I am constantly running across interesting facts about our generation and thought I would share some of the more fascinating statistics with my readers.  If you want more details, I have also included my sources at the bottom of this blog post.

Baby Boomer Statistics Affecting Retirement

Every 10 seconds one of us turns 65 (this amounts to between 3 and 4 million Boomers a year).  This means that we are the force behind the rapid expansion in the number of over-55 communities, senior apartments and skilled nursing facilities.

Not only are we currently reaching the age of 65 at the rate of about 10,000 a day, but we will continue reaching retirement age at this rate for the next 20 years!  This will result in more than double the number of senior citizens in our country by 2050.

Nearly half of all American workers (which includes our adult children) have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.   However, even when you only consider older workers, one-fourth of workers in the 46 to 64 year old age group have NO retirement savings or personal savings.

Baby Boomers tend to carry more credit card debt than younger adults in our population.  Approximately 56 percent of current retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.

Seventy percent of American workers plan to work after retirement, and forty percent of Baby Boomers say they expect to work "until they drop."  (Check the medical statistics below, however; many of us will not be able to keep working for the rest of our lives, even if we want to.)

In 1945, there were 42 workers for every person on Social Security.  Today there are only about 2.5 workers per Social Security beneficiary, and this number is expected to drop even more in coming years.

Without savings, the financial situation for many Baby Boomer retirees will be difficult.  The average retiree only received about $1,230 a month in Social Security benefits in 2012.

Baby Boomer Statistics Affecting the Medical System

By the time we reach 65, about two out of three of us have at least one chronic disease.

On average, we have seen seven different doctors in order to get our medical conditions treated, and this number is expected to grow to fifteen different doctors as we age.  This can create confusion due to conflicting instructions and lack of communication between the various physicians who treat us.

Boomers buy 61 percent of the over-the-counter medications and 77 percent of all prescription drugs that are sold in the U.S.

Boomers and the Economy

Our generation is the largest buying group in the U.S., and we account for 40 percent of our nation's consumer demand.

We control 70 percent of the total net worth of all households in the U.S.  This amounts to about $7 trillion.

We have about 80 percent of all the money currently deposited in savings and loan associations.

We like to travel.  Boomers account for 80 percent of all leisure travel.

On the other hand, Americans over the age of 55 now account for 20 percent of bankruptcies in America.  Over 60 percent of these bankruptcies were caused by our medical bills.  In 75 percent of the bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, the people actually had health insurance!  This means that having health insurance is not enough to protect our financial situation if we do not also have adequate retirement savings.

Other Interesting Statistics

Boomers watch more TV than any other age group.  (Perhaps we should stop criticizing our teenage grandkids for watching too much TV!)

We also read more newspaper than any other age group.  (This did not surprise me, since most of my adult children and grandchildren barely read the newspaper. They tend to get all or most of their news online.)

We use technology in our jobs, we are internet-savvy, and we enjoy shopping online.  (While many of our parents may still resist using some forms of technology, our generation embraces it.)

We are involved in our communities, with about 29.3% of us regularly volunteering.

About 55 percent of boomers plan to move to a new location when they retire.  About half of those will move to an area that is more than a three hour drive from where they live now.  They will be looking for homes that are smaller and require less maintenance.  This has helped to fuel the housing boom in senior communities and housing.

Despite some of the grim financial and medical statistics listed above, about 34 percent of Boomers love being empty nesters and say that their time alone makes them feel closer to their spouses.  This may also be related to the fact that Boomer women can expect to be sexually active until age 66 or older (according to Time Magazine, April 26, 2010).

The bottom line appears to be that, while Boomers can expect to have to deal with serious financial and medical issues in the future, there are still many reasons for them to look forward to enjoying the coming  years.

More retirement information:

If you are interested in more information about retirement, check out the index articles listed below.  Each ones contains an introduction and links to more articles on that topic.

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement


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