Navigating the Looming Elder-Care Crisis in America: Challenges, Financial Impacts, and Corporate Responses
According to Anna North in Vox, Americans are not adequately prepared for the growing need for elder care, which is becoming a significant issue, particularly with the aging Baby Boomer generation. By 2030, the United States is projected to have more residents over 65 than children, leading to a potential crisis in valuable care. The real estate, often a substantial asset, that elders pass down to their children is expected to increase.
As the Baby Boomer generation enters a stage in life where most individuals statistically require some form of care, such care can range from medical assistance to handling financial matters. However, despite the fact that 70 percent of individuals over 65 will likely need long-term care, Medicare does not cover this expense. Additionally, seniors become eligible for Medicaid only when they have nearly depleted their assets, making professional care unaffordable for many.
Bank of America reported that older cardholders are spending more money than their younger counterparts, enjoying their retirement years with trips and experiences. This trend creates challenges for Gen Xers and Millennials, who find themselves in a "sandwich generation" situation, caring for both elderly parents and young children simultaneously. Despite the financial burden, the Baby Boomer generation is doing well financially in old age, benefiting from economic factors such as low interest rates and inflated housing prices.
Recognizing the emerging elder-care crisis, some corporations, including BestBuy, Meta, and Vanguard, are addressing the issue by offering caregiving benefits through a startup called Wellthy. This initiative aims to assist employees in navigating the complexities of elder caregiving, including interviewing vendors on their behalf. Companies view this investment as worthwhile, considering that the challenges faced by workers caring for their aging parents contribute significantly to employee turnover.