We are reaching a critical crossroads in the United States when it comes to senior living and eldercare. I am one of about 73 million baby boomers. We represent over 20% of the U.S. population. Among us are 14 million people who are currently receiving some form of long-term care. That number will double by 2050, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Our current eldercare infrastructure is woefully insufficient to accommodate the vast medical needs of the population boom. To cite just one example, last year the American Health Care Association’s survey found that 73% of nursing homes are concerned about having to close due to staffing shortages.
Aging boomers are unprepared for the significant financial costs of staying alive and well. Families are struggling to manage the medical needs of older parents or grandparents, both from a financial and a caregiver standpoint. And these financial challenges are only magnified for the poor. According to research from the Insured Retirement Institute, 45% of boomers have no retirement savings and more than a quarter of those who do have less than $100,000.