As Baby Boomers age, and are retiring or getting ready to retire, there are a number of challenges that they face. While about half of them express that loss of their mental capacity is what they fear most as they grow older, many of them also say that they lack any sound planning for their retirement.
The average net worth of an individual of this generation is just $78,000, which is inadequate for their long-term financial security. This poses a serious dilemma, as the expectation is that most of them will live well into their 80s, and maybe even their 90s.
In addition to this, they also worry about the necessity of relying on government programs like Medicare and Social Security, as most of them feel that they have very little control when it comes to such programs. Very few people indicate satisfaction with these programs.
Failing health with advancing age is another concern that most individuals say they fear. And yet, paradoxically, it has been found that there is a vast disconnect between what they comprehend as the right things to do to stay healthy, and what they really do.
While a majority of them feel that they need to exercise in order to maintain their health as they age, a very small section of them actually do it. That is also just about two days in a week, or even lesser than that. Most admit that they do not exercise at all. Compounding this, many of them are also confused about what a healthy diet is for proper aging.
Much of this conundrum in behavior and understanding is due to the fact that, most of these people believe that advancements in medical science and health care will be able to cure the diseases they may be affected by in the future, and also feel that these advances will increase their longevity.
This means that many of them will have to rely on medical science and the health care system, in order to ameliorate the harm that they are bringing upon themselves by eating the wrong kind of food and not exercising.
Hence, it is anticipated by most policy-makers that one of the biggest challenges will be funding the long-term health care requirements and other interrelated services for the aging individuals. When a vast section of the workforce retires, it will result in a decline in their incomes, and a reduction of tax contributions to the state.
Simultaneously, an increased pressure would be exerted on the states to pay vast numbers of claims for government medical programs. In addition to that, the already understaffed health care system will have to find enough trained personnel to take care of these aging patients.
Another challenge that this generation faces is inadequate transportation. With an increase in elderly drivers, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the rate of accidents.
States will then be pressurized to tighten renewals of driving licenses in order to curtail elderly people from driving. This means that seniors will have to be largely dependent on better and more public transportation systems.
Crime is another factor that senior citizens are concerned about. It is expected that, with an increase in the population of aging people, there will be a corresponding rise in crime against them, such as burglary and fraud. Senior citizens will therefore require adequate protective services from the state.
Conflicts between generation for state funds may also intensify. The younger voting population might protest for getting funds for issues like education, as states may have to allocate more funds to improve the lives of the elderly.