By the year 2030, more than 20 percent of Americans will be 65 or older and a quarter of this demographic will have four or more chronic conditions and account for 80 percent of the rapidly growing Medicare budget ($583 billion in 2013).
How are Americans preparing for this “silver “tsunami”? As a baby boomer, I think about this daily. Not in a panicky way, but with optimism and hope, because I believe human beings have the capacity to make every moment in life count — at every age.
In The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, author Ai-Jen Poo writes, “Let’s remember: people getting older is not a crisis; it’s a blessing. We’re living longer; the question is how we should live. As a country, we have to figure out how to embrace this demographic shift with grace. Just as the baby boom brought with it incredible power and opportunity, so does the coming elder boom.”
The power and opportunity of this “coming elder boom” can be maximized if we think realistically and creatively about how to best live our later years. Here are some resources to help get you started:
- Click on any state in this interactive map to find out the median cost of long-term care in any state in the US: Genworth Map
- Check out the various options for aging in place: Under My Own Roof
- Learn the difference between Medicare and Medicaid: What’s the Difference and How Can Each Help Me?
- Take a tip from Steve Vernon of MoneyWatch and forge a new vision for your retirement: Lean and Mean
- Read more about Ai-Jen Poo’s philosophy on aging in this excerpt from her book, The Age of Dignity: Excerpt
What are you doing now to make sure you can reach your full potential as an elder?