A record number of Americans will be eligible to retire next year, putting an unprecedented amount of stress on our nation’s health care system and challenging many social service programs, businesses and units of government. Whether or not these “golden years” are tarnished by out-of-control health care costs and shortages in services depends greatly on our understanding of and preparation for what lies ahead.
Nearly 77 million Americans who were born between 1946 and 1964—referred to as baby boomers—will enter their retirement years starting in 2011 and are expected to live longer than previous generations. Baby boomers will be part of the fastest growing segment of the population for the next 30 years and will most likely need long-term health care service options after age 85.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2020 the number of people across the nation age 85 and older will increase by more than 40 percent. By 2050, estimates show another 118 percent increase in that age group. Read the rest of this entry »