Retirees Need To Fund Longer Retirements

Ever talk with friends about aging? Been to your 50th high school reunion?

Consider that in 1935 when Social Security (Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance) began the average life expectancy was 62. Today it’s approaching 84 for men and 86.5 for women. And some suggest that 67 might be the new marker of old age in the 21st century. Are we becoming a “gerontocracy?”

We are big fans of Ken Dychtwald, PhD and founding CEO of Age Wave. He has long been the thought leader on issues relating to an aging population.

Last year he defined five critical aging issues that we must address. Among them is the soaring cost of dementia that afflicts 5.8 million Americans today.

Pending no cure the number is expected to exceed 14+ million by 2050 with cumulative costs approaching $20 trillion. Yet for every dollar that goes toward care today less than half a cent is spent on scientific research.

Other issues include how to avert a new era of massive elder poverty and how to become medically aging-ready.

Today, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 daily and 70% will need some level of long-term care in their remaining years.

Already 42% of the federal budget is spent on Medicare and Social Security and this is expected to exceed 50% by 2030.

The baby boomer silver tsunami is coming and we’ve done little to prepare.

Money is the #1 concern

In a collaborative study, Merrill Lynch and Age Wave have detailed new challenges and solutions to guide Americans to a more satisfying and financially comfortable retirement.

The three biggest retirement financial worries are: 1) health care costs, 2) inflation and 3) no discretionary income.

Of those surveyed 68% said they would consider buying long-term care insurance to offset health care costs.

To read the study findings visit Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions.