Lewis Diuguid

Hard times ahead for baby boomers as they age

The AARP reports that baby boomers may have a tough time finding anyone who will care for them as they age.

“The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap” AARP study shows that because of changing demographics, boomers will have fewer family members and friends available to care for them as they climb into their 80s. That’s not surprising because of the mobility of boomers’ children and the high divorce rate.

The ratio of potential caregivers will drop from 7.2-to-1 in 2010 to 2.9-to-1 for baby boomers by 2050, the AARP study says.

The Washington Post reports that in 2010, the United States had 78 million baby boomers, or people born from 1946 to 1964. About 60 million will still be alive by 2030 and about 20 million by 2050.

Combine the caregiver shortage with limited retirement funds and the country will be facing a problem. AARP President Robert Romasco told the editorial board of The Kansas City Star last week that today Social Security is 90 to 100 percent of the income for one in four recipients. For two out of three people on Social Security, it is at least half their income. Keep in mind that in Missouri and Kansas the average annual Social Security amount is only about $15,000.

Because baby boomers haven’t done a good job of saving for retirement, the country can expect even more people in the “me generation” to have a greater dependence on Social Security. Lawmakers will have an even harder time then trying to reduce or take it away.