Times continue to change for baby boomers–and not just in terms of when they will retire and how they will pay for it–but also about who will care for them in their 70s and 80s.
A recent study, conducted by the AARP, documented the “caregiver support ratio” in order to assess the declining availability of family caregivers to meet the demands for long-term services and support in the future. The study, which paired a potential caregiver (aged 45-64) with one person 80 years of age and older, found that potential caregivers will shrink from 7.2 to 1 in 2010 to as little as 2.9 to 1 by 2050.
How is this possible?
Well, succeeding generations are having less children so they will be less able-bodied family members to take care of baby boomers. In the past, if you have five children, you had an overabundance of family caregivers. Now, if you have one child, if at all, there are less likely to be available to care for you personally.
In addition, preceding generations had access to government-funded facilities, many of which will be gone by 2050 or severely depleted.
In truth, baby boomers are the middle children, stuck between a preceding generation that had retirement handed to them and a succeeding generation that is swiftly changing the way we look at retirement.
Past generations don’t need to adapt and future generations are already adapting, so what’s a baby boomer to do?
Lynn Feinberg, ARRP’s senior policy analyst, and one of the report’s authors, said, in “Baby boomers will have no one to care for them in old age,” which appeared in the LA Times:
“More than two-thirds of Americans believe they will be able to rely on their families to meet their needs when they need long-term care, but this confidence is likely to deflate when it collides with the dramatically shrinking availability of family caregivers in the future.”
The clashing states of mind between baby boomers and their (possible) future caregivers will also be a source of undue stress if expectations aren’t managed and handled beforehand. It’s important to discuss possible long term care options before you find yourself up the creek without a paddle.
Baby boomers took care of their parents, but can the same be said for millennials or future generations? Don’t take retirement cues from the past because those trends are long gone. Instead, take them from the present and prepare yourself for the unexpected.
Interested in a reverse mortgage? There is no time to wait. Changes are coming to the program that will affect the amount of money you qualify for in the future. Take control of your retirement and don’t wait on caregivers to provide you with the care you need.