photo Via Google
Shortly after WWII, large families became the norm and prosperity ensued. It actually was a period of complete economic bliss that was magical and many feel won’t be duplicated any time soon. Any one person born in this time period could have taken advantage of this opulence should they have interest and desire to execute the grind. Because, let’s face it, our goals in the US are to make money. We are a capitalist society driven to work hard and create the next “thing”.
The baby-boomer generation had an abundance of labor based economic opportunity during the late ’60’s and the early ’70’s. All they needed to do was be 18 and able-bodied. Someone could stumble into an industrial compound and land a job on the way to the next big “hippie” protest or event. EVERYONE had opportunity. It didn’t matter who you were, or really what you looked like. The work was out there. Everyone was young and starting off in a world full of opportunity. Who would have thought we’d end up here? In this economic environment, where some are predicting a cascade of events soon to mimic some past hard economic times in the US.
Here I go again. Mild reality check. Recent polls shows about 18% of individuals over the age of 40 expect to have a family member take care of them as they age out (I hope their loved one knows about that decision.) The rest feel they can rely solely on Medicare to take the helm of their long-term care needs. That’s a very large reliance on the government to take care of long-term health needs. In reality, the person providing the majority of in-home care will be a family member or loved one.
Healthcare costs for long-term care have grown upwards to six figures depending where you live. Long-term health insurance…forget about it! I mean yes, it’s beneficial if you were able to foresee into a future glass ball, and purchased coverage at the ripe pessimistic age of 25. But, to get coverage now-a-days for reasonable prices is akin to finding a unicorn.
The big kahuna is this; the best way to navigate aging out is preparing the path YOU want to take while you have the power to do so. What does that look like? Who is involved? How much do you expect to rely on outside resources like government assistance? How comfortable are you with having stranger’s preform your daily hygienic tasks? Who will grocery shop? How will you feed yourself? Doctors Appointments…endless doctors appointments? Do you want your care on demand or more as needed?
No matter how your aging picture looks, always know it’s not set in stone. Have alternatives and backup plans. Always have a Plan B.