MetLife’s “The MetLife Report on Early Boomers: How America’s Leading Edge Baby Boomers Will Transform Aging, Work & Retirement” suggests that the oldest Boomers will forego the traditional leisure-filled retirement in order to continue working — possibly indefinitely. Many Boomers are struggling under debt from putting children through college, others have suffered financial setbacks through the economic crisis, some have purchased second homes, and due to a longer life expectancy, many fear they’ll outlive their nest eggs.
Many older Boomers face a favorable employment outlook because they have many years of experience, and they’re attractive to employers who realize that they won’t have to provide health insurance coverage to Medicare-eligible workers, according to Sandra Timmerman, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
This transition to a new model of retirement will mean significant changes in the long-term care industry. Unless they become sick enough to require round-the-clock care, many boomers will opt for long-term living options that allow them to remain independent and continue working. Aging in place may become more popular as seniors opt for services that can provide care in the home.
Nursing homes are already becoming a place for the seriously ill and disabled, because assisted living communities tend to offer more flexibility to residents. Even assisted living facilities may need to change their marketing objectives to more broadly appeal to independent seniors. A focus on the ability for residents to set their own schedule, leave as they please, and participate in a variety of activities both inside and outside of the facility will be key to any long-term care facility’s success.
The up-and-coming senior population commands choices, and a life of continued work will ensure that seniors remain active, which will improve long-term health. Facilities that can accomodate the varied and changing needs of seniors will remain the most successful as we experience a long-term living revolution.
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