No, this is not the cost of a nursing home or your tax bill.
This is the number of people who turn 65 every day in America. Let that sink in for a minute, then contemplate the fact that a 65-year old woman today will live another 2 decades. Now consider that this will go on for years until around 65 million boomers have transitioned from middle age to old age. The implications of this for our country are too many and too large for me to even contemplate let alone examine in this limited space. Suffice it to say that ALL of the other economic worries that we have will be dwarfed by the cost of taking care of this cohort. It also means that we have entered the era of the largest single transfer of wealth from one generation to the next in the history of the world. Again, the implications are great and for discussion another time.
Today I want to just focus on the core questions I have been asking for over 20 years. As this group enters its dotage do they know or understand, one, who will take care of them, and two, how they will pay for that care? I can tell you from experience that the answer is likely a big no. Almost no one talks about the implications of the loss of independence. It is sad, because of our failure to discuss and implement plans, the care industry (some companies already have over 1,000 facilities) and the government will wind up with a great deal of wealth that should have gone to all of our loved ones. As care costs continue to climb, you can expect a nursing home that costs $8,000 per month now to cost over $15,000 in 10 years; assisted living to climb from $5,000 to $10,000 per month; and in-home care to go from $25 per hour to over $50.
So, what will you do? First, ask yourself the two questions and then make yourself think through and write down the answers. You should be able to do this in a minute or so. If you do not have the answer to either question, then you have a problem and that problem will only become more difficult to solve over time.
Take the time to talk to your loved ones. Familiarize yourself with the risks and potential expenses inherent to your situation. Organize a family conference. Schedule a free consultation. Take the initiative to address the difficult issues. For every family there is a solution, but you need to be willing and eager to seek out the answers.