The baby boomer generation is on average expected to live a lot longer than previous generations, but that does not mean they are expected to be healthier than the elderly of those previous generations.
In 2030, when the last of the baby boomer generation will be fully eligible for Medicare, the average life expectancy of a 65 year old is projected to be 20.1 years.
A recent study suggests, however, that those elderly people who will live longer will do so in poorer overall health than the elderly people from previous generations. It appears, in part, this is because medical science has done such a great job of finding treatments for diseases that often kill people early, such as cardiovascular problems. As people will be living longer, however, they will get other diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, in greater numbers.
The Bangor Daily News reported this story in “Baby Boomers are more likely to spend their last years in worse health than past generations.”
This has important implications.
While an individual cannot know for certain whether he or she will be one of the people who live longer and suffer from disease, individuals can play it safe and plan ahead.
The wise baby boomer would plan as if he or she will live as an elderly person for a long time and will likely suffer health complications as a result. This means that baby boomers should get estate plans that include powers of attorney and advanced health care directives. That way should they get sick or become incapacitated in their elderly years their affairs will still be handled by people of their choosing.
Reference: Bangor Daily News (Dec. 29, 2015) “Baby Boomers are more likely to spend their last years in worse health than past generations.”
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