How Might Assisted Living Relate to You?
If you are like many people under age 65, your immediate response to this question may be that it doesn’t relate to you – at least not yet. While such a quick response is understandable, it is also (respectfully) incorrect. The reality is that assisted living does relate to you, even if you are only beginning your journey in life as a young adult. In this article, we touch on the essential reasons why and how assisted living does relate to any adult in the United States, including those who have not yet come close to the age range of 60 to 65 and beyond.
The Vital Need for Later-In-Life and Estate Planning
A very basic reason assisted living impacts or relates to even younger adults is that the adage that “it is never too late to plan for retirement and death” is truthful. The reality is that an adult should endeavor to commence at least some estate planning once they start to earn and living (and definitely when they begin to build a family).
As a tangential matter, considering retirement planning simultaneously is wise. In many ways, retirement planning is incomplete if consideration is not paid to such matters as the possible need for some type of long-term care at some point in time, including assisted living.
Baby Boomers and the Growth of the Over-65 Cohort
76 million people in the United States are classified as Baby Boomers. This is the expansive cohort of Americans born in the aftermath of the Second World War (late -1940s into the early 1950s) up until 1964. This is a huge swath of the American public.
Those women and men who make up the tail end of the Baby Boom are now entering their 60s. By 2030, almost 20 percent of all U.S. residents will be 65 years of age or older. The number of people in this age category will put tremendous stress on collective welfare structures (broadly defined). This is happening at precisely the point in time when a significant number of people will be departing as contributing members of the economy and taking places as consumers only (or consumers mostly).
In other words, as Baby Boomers retire, there will be more retirees than ever before in U.S. history and fewer people paying into the Social Security system and so forth. It really is something of a wide-reaching economic perfect storm that impacts all Americans, regardless of age.
Future of Social Security in the United States
A decade ago, the government of the United States confessed that the Social Security Trust Fund would be bankrupt by 2030. That is precisely the point in time when many Baby Boomers will be entering their 70s and 80s. The projected demise of the Social Security Administration begs the question of what the government can and will do to stave off disaster.
While Social Security payments alone are not enough to pay the costs of assisted living if that type of residential and supportive assistance is needed, for most people, that money is a part of what is used to assist in paying for this type of facility. As an aside, many pension funds – including those associated with state and municipal government employees – are broke and unable to meet their obligations. Although the complete collapse of these systems generally looms a handful of years down the road, even younger adults early in their careers need to contemplate how they can prepare for what seems like an inevitable turn of events.
Medicine, Technology, and Living Longer
Thanks to advancements in medicine and healthcare as well as the advent of amazing technologies of different types, generally speaking as a population, people in the United States are living longer. In some instances, these people who are living longer are also healthy enough to live on their own for most, if not all of their lives. However, this certainly is not the case for all individuals who live beyond their 80th and 90th birthdays. A considerable percentage of these people need or will need the types of care and supportive living help found through long-term care options like assisted living. In the final analysis and understanding of the essential nature of life (with all its vulnerabilities), people from all walks of life and in all age cohorts need to give serious thought to not only estate planning but also to such matters that require long-term care assistance, which includes the possibility to taking advantage of assisted living and transitioning to such a community at some juncture in time later in life.