With retirement looming for many baby boomers the reality of the future is taking shape.
The death rate is increasing, slightly, which means you may not live to be as old as your parents. According to the Society of Actuaries, the mortality rate is up 1.2% from 2014 to 2015, which may not have significance when extended for a longer period of time.
We’re dying sooner, retiring later and are sicker in our final years when compared with our parents’ generation. U.S. policy is encouraging later retirement, as Social Security advances the age at which full benefits can be claimed from 65 to 67.
Loe Hornbuckle owns several Texas assisted-living facilities in the Dallas area. “What we’re starting to see is people living longer, but the quality of life in those later stages of life isn’t the best. They need more and more help,” he says. Those years as a couch potato are catching up with us, as is an economy that hasn’t fueled wage growth while inflation has skyrocketed. We have less money to possibly stretch further.
And we’re not as healthy as our parents’ generation. After years of a too sedentary lifestyle, Health Affairs, a medical journal, reports Americans in their late 50’s today are already being found to have more serious health problems than people of the same age just 10 years ago.
One in five Americans in their early 70’s is still punching a timecard, and one in three people between 65 and 69 is still collecting a paycheck.
“65 is the new 45. 55 is the new 35. You have people who are physically able to do quite a bit at the mid-stages in life and some people, for a sense of purpose, for the physical well-being, work longer,” Hornbuckle explains.