Reports by AARP and others indicate that by 2035, one in three households will be headed by someone over 65. This translates to almost 80 million people, most of whom plan to stay in their homes.
Is this is a practical for Baby Boomers? The answer for many is a resounding “Yes!” Boomers are healthier and more active than their parents were at the same age. For most, there is no reason for them to move in with their kids or into long-term care facilities.
Of course, some Boomers will choose to downsize or move to a more seasonable climate. A few like the idea of carefree living in a retirement community. Others like the idea of staying in their existing home, with it’s established neighborhood network of friends and a place for the grandchildren to visit. No one actively embraces life in a long-term care facility.
As Boomers age, of course. it may become necessary to modify homes to be more “senior friendly.” Wheelchair access, accessible light switches, etc., are just a few of the modifications one can envision.
What AARP and other studies do not take into account is the onslaught of new technology that is becoming available to help Boomers age in place. Robotic home care assistants are predicted to be in widespread use within ten years. Remote medical monitoring will be the norm as well. And need a ride? Driverless cars will dominate the roads in the late 2020’s – Just call one and they’ll show up within 20 minutes!
If you like your home and want to live out your days there, no problem. Stay active, stay healthy and age in place among familiar surroundings and friends. Or downsize and live out your retirement years in the location of your choice. All these options are available to the Boomer generation. This is NOT your parents retirement!
Upon entering their sixties, having good health starts to dominate Baby Boomer thinking. Enjoyable retirement depends on being able to perform activities, such as travel, spending time with the grandkids or even starting a home business. The old adage, “Good Health is Everything” takes on real meaning as we age.
So what can Boomers do to ensure a healthy retirement? It helps to have a checklist. Here’s our take on minimal activities every Baby Boomer should embrace:
Get an annual checkup! Be sure your medical and family history is accurate and fully disclosed to your physician. Medicare covers annual checkups and preventive medicine is your friend. Complete ALL of the recommended tests – blood, urine, stress, colonoscopy, etc. The secret to living long, healthy lives is to catch any problems early and deal with them.
Exercise! Live an active lifestyle. Exercise everyday, even if it is just an hourly walk in the park. Couch potatoes croak out early.
Keep your mind active! Boomers live in fear of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Exercising our brains is crucial to staying sharp. Read, join causes, participate in activities, learn a new language, do puzzles….whatever, just use your brain everyday (Note: Watching TV doesn’t count!).
Drink wine and coffee. In moderation, both provide health and longevity benefits. Besides, what would life be like without the gift of wine?
Drink lots of water. Avoid poisonous diet soda drinks!
Eat better – Less steaks and more salads! More fruit for lunch. Get your weight down to an acceptable level and maintain it.
Get rid of bad habits. If you are still smoking, I have no sympathy for you. Your future includes lung cancer and COPD. Quit, just quit. Ditto for pill poppers.
Have sex! Life is better in so many ways when couples maintain a loving physical relationship.
Create a bucket list and commit to achieving it. This enriches the Fall and Winter of our lives.
Likewise, enhance your peace of mind by embracing spirituality in your life. Whatever your religion (or not), take time to explore the pulse of the universe. For agnostics and atheist, look into the latest scientific findings of quantum mechanics and astrophysics to formulate your own beliefs.
This is our list for enjoying a healthy, meaningful retirement. What’s yours? Did we leave anything out? Please give our readers the benefit of your feelings and insights by commenting below.
Regardless of their financial situation, Baby Boomers are travelers. It’s on most bucket lists. And being on a budget doesn’t rule out enjoying exotic vacations or “seeing America.” It just means one has to be a little smarter at planning travel excursions.
The best way to plan your travel is to learn from the experiences of others and find special deals. That’s why we have identified several blogs, articles and websites that are Boomer shortcuts to enjoying great vacations on a budget:
And of course, always check out the rates offered by travel agencies and airlines against those found on the AARP Travel Center. They are the Baby Boomer benchmark for confirming that you are getting a good deal!
Summer is upon us and many Boomers are planning vacations. For most Boomers, however, travel expense is a major consideration and air flights make up a large portion of vacation costs.
Don’t fret. Our research has found several bargains for Baby Boomer flights:
AARP Member Advantages: If you are not already a member of AARP, shame on you! The membership fee is dirt cheap and entitles you to great discounts on air flights, vacations and travel in general.
Southwest Airlines: Travelers 65 years of age or over may get details on fares, limitations, and any restrictions regarding reservations on Southwest.com from a Southwest Airlines Customer Representative or a travel agent. Fares are subject to change until tickets are purchased, but Senior Fares are fully refundable.
Priceline: Find deals and discounts for popular Senior travel destinations. Save on flights, hotels and rental cars.
We also suggest you read this great article that does a good job of identifying Boomer and senior travel discounts: