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Baby Boomer Issues: Health, Money And Retirement

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to grow older, their primary concerns have shifted to their health, money and retirement. The days of idly wondering where their next vacation should be and whether their bonus check will be as much as they deserve are quietly passing. Today, Baby Boomer issues are mostly about concerns with maintaining their dwindling health and having enough money to live comfortably through their twilight years.

Health Concerns For Baby Boomers

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As the Baby Boomer generation continues to grow older, their primary concerns have shifted to their health, money and retirement. The days of idly wondering where their next vacation should be and whether their bonus check will be as much as they deserve are quietly passing. Today, Baby Boomer issues are mostly about concerns with maintaining their dwindling health and having enough money to live comfortably through their twilight years.

Health Concerns For Baby Boomers

As people grow older, they often experience problems with their health. Their bodies grow more fragile and susceptible to diseases and bacteria. In addition, many people 50 years of age and older are reporting health problems that were not experienced by people in their same age group long ago.

This problem is exacerbated by rising health care costs. As the Boomer generation begins to require more medical care, the cost of that medical care continues to increase. Health issues and their ability to cope with them and find the proper medical support is a major concern for Baby Boomers.

Money And Retirement Concerns For Baby Boomers

Along with rising health care costs, Baby Boomers also worry about money and retirement. During the last several years of their careers before retiring, people usually enjoy salaries and bonuses that are larger than at any other point in their career. As a result, money is rarely a major concern.

However, many people fail to save that money. Instead, they spend it on vacations, their families and in the pursuit of living fun and fulfilling lives. This can lead to a rude awakening when they retire. Because they have not saved much money during their career, a lot of people discover that they do not have enough money to live comfortably during their retirement years.

When they retire, they no longer earn a salary. They no longer receive bonus checks. Instead, they are forced to live off the income that can be generated by the investments they have made throughout their lives. Unfortunately, many have not invested any money that can generate this income.

Other Baby Boomer issues complicate this money problem. People live longer lives today. When a Baby Boomer retires, he can expect to live many years in retirement. In the past, a 65-year old man could expect to live approximately 10 years in retirement before passing away. The financial requirements of living comfortably for these 10 years were manageable for most people.

Today, financial planners use a life expectancy of 90 to 95 years. That is, when a person retires at 65 years of age, he can expect to live up to 30 years in retirement. With dwindling health, rising health care costs and a lack of savings to generate a fixed income, the financial requirements of living 30 years in retirement are out of reach for many people.

These health, money and retirement concerns will grow as more of the Baby Boomer generation moves into retirement. Some will choose to work part-time jobs to keep active, stay healthy and generate supplemental income. Others will require the aid of family and friends. Still others may require more help than is available to them. As the Baby Boomer issues are beginning to emerge the Boomers will experience the issues that have been quietly gaining momentum for years, their health, money and retirement concerns will continue to grow.

 

Baby Boomer Health

Baby boomer health is a big issue for today’s seniors. Fortunately the focus isn’t so much on which of the many ailments people will be stricken with and how soon. With all of the advances that have been made in the field of medical science, people are living longer and they’re spending their later years healthier, too. That’s why much of the talk about Baby boomer health revolves around keeping mentally and physically fit.

Perhaps that’s because the one thing that has s...

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Baby boomer health is a big issue for today’s seniors. Fortunately the focus isn’t so much on which of the many ailments people will be stricken with and how soon. With all of the advances that have been made in the field of medical science, people are living longer and they’re spending their later years healthier, too. That’s why much of the talk about Baby boomer health revolves around keeping mentally and physically fit.

Perhaps that’s because the one thing that has set the Baby boomer generation apart since its beginning has been the focus on the self. As this generation grows older past behaviors that may have been considered selfish or self-indulgent are being replaced with behavior that’s focused on self-preservation. And that’s a truly beneficial change, especially when you consider the impact that this generation has had on trends.

Which senior health issues matter most?

With a lifetime of focusing on the self, today’s Baby boomers place much emphasis on maintaining a youthful appearance. Fortunately they are smart enough to understand that looking and feeling good are totally within their control. That may even explain why so many older people have finally started replacing their bad habits with good ones such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Eating right and exercising can help the body perform optimally and perhaps even more importantly, it may help reduce or eliminate the need for costly prescription medication.

Another Baby boomer health issue that has grown enormously popular is anti-aging. Baby boomers realize that they cannot stop the clock from ticking but they’re also not willing to sit back and do nothing about it either. That quest for eternal youth is what’s fueling the market for new products that promise to stop or reverse the effects of aging. Baby boomers are buying up nutritional supplements, creams, lotions, ointments, elixirs, spa treatments and more almost as fast as these products come to market. It’s a billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing.

Baby boomers know too that many of their worn out body parts can be replaced, but unfortunately the costs of replacement surgery is high. Interestingly, figuring out how they’re going to afford to pay for all of the surgeries, the prescription medications and the anti-aging products that they’ve been led to believe they need is another of the big Baby boomer health issues seniors are facing. It’s easy to lose track of the fact that the quest for eternal youth and longevity is coming at a very high cost for many.

What’s the answer?

While science and technology can do a lot to enhance Baby boomer health, there’s a lot you can do without having to resort to such extreme and expensive measures. For example, you can reap tremendous rewards just by making the right choices when it comes to diet and exercise. But even protecting yourself against the sun’s damaging rays, quitting smoking and reducing stress can takes years off your appearance. So don’t wait any longer. Start taking better care of yourself today!

 

Baby Boomer Couples Cutting Health Care Costs

Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn't eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. B...

baby boomer couples cutting health care costs, long term care premiums, long term care partnership, shared care plans

Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn't eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. But unlike traditional policies, a special rider is tacked on to each to allow one spouse to dip into another's benefits.

The main advantage of shared coverage is that if you need more than your current plan allows. But what happens if both eventually go over their allotted amounts?

If you've bought a contract with plenty of flexibility and terms that stretch over long periods, experts say that won't necessarily be a problem. They point out that some providers offer policies that can cover an entire lifetime. A longer time frame usually means greater premiums. A lifetime policy can translate into extra costs when compared with short-term plans covering three- to five-years of long-term care.

"That can defeat the whole purpose of buying a policy that allows you to share benefits," says Neil Gholson, President of LTC Finical Solutions, inc..

To make sure you don't run out of benefits, Neil suggests at least four years of coverage. The Consumers Union senior policy analyst says that's based on data showing nursing-home use averages around 2.5 years in long-term policies.

"Very few people spend more than five years in a nursing home," Gholson said. "So if you're going to get a long-term plan that shares care between spouses, look at a four-year term. Fewer years could be a little shy, especially considering that policies can cover home as well as nursing home care."

Best suited for shared care policies might be couples that want to buy shorter-term plans but still want some flexibility to reach into their spouse's pool of benefits, he added.

2. Long term care partnership deals

Two years ago, Congress expanded to most of the country a program that had been running for years in less than a handful of states. It allows the total value of long-term-care policies to be counted against Medicaid requirements for drawing on personal assets to pay health bills.

But different states have different contingencies. For example, in New York consumers must purchase a long-term-care policy that covers at least three years in a nursing home and six years of home-based care. In return, the state pledges not to go after any personal assets once someone exhausts the benefits in their private policy, says Gholson.

"So Medicaid care becomes a free benefit without any strings attached," he added.

States such as California and Connecticut use what's termed dollar-for-dollar protection. In those cases, authorities count the value of a private insurance policy to determine the amount of assets that are protected against pay-down requirements in Medicaid.

It saves the states money because they're shifting costs of long-term care to insurance companies. And it puts fewer burdens than we currently have on the entire Medicaid system.

For individuals, such partnerships can limit the size of policies they've got to buy. The trade-off is that if you buy less coverage than a state's threshold to qualify for Medicaid, you'll still wind up dipping into your savings.

"If you live in a dollar-for-dollar state, you might want to buy enough insurance to protect your entire portfolio in a partnership program," Gholson said.

3. Ask insurance agents about discounts on bundled purchases

This could be the simplest way to savings.

Some carriers now offer promotional rates for two people that buy a long term care package at the same time.

Those are marketed as spousal discounts and can range between 15% and 25% off regular premiums. And if you qualify as extremely fit and healthy candidates, some carriers will even add another 10% discount on top.

Some things to consider:

Each of the three options presents different caveats. "People need to remember that the shared-care marketplace is a fairly new phenomenon," said Cheryl Matheis, a health strategist at AARP. "They need to ask a lot of questions and carefully examine all of the details in each policy."

1. Check the insurers' history of changing prices and policy conditions. Only a few carriers haven't hiked premiums.

2. Shared long term care benefits likely will cost you slightly more than traditional long-term-care policies of a similar term.

The alternative is that if two people aren't sharing long-term-care insurance, they'll probably need to buy more extensive individual policies to get the same level of coverage. The big advantage to shared care is that you reduce the term of policies.

3. If you've got enough money, the best option is always to buy separate longer-term plans.

4. If you're looking at a more affordable alternative, then shared care is an option to at least consider.

5. If you choose a state partnership programs need to note any loopholes may exist, Gholson says. Even buying enough private care insurance to match asset levels isn't a guaranteed solution.

“Depending on where you live or move, the different Medicaid eligibility and income requirements in each state, the government might still be able to come after your assets in certain cases," Gholson said.

Spouses cutting health care costs can produce significant benefits with the right amount of research. Contact a Long Term Care Professional that represents several carriers to see what your options are.




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