The State of California is getting older, too. Rapidly. The percentage of the population over 65 is currently 5.5%. By 2060 it will be 13.5%. The percentage of children under 18 will drop from 24 to 18% of the population. While our children will be fighting for space in the old people’s homes, our great-grandchildren will be strolling into near vacant colleges and universities.
Okay, so we may not be alive to worry about it, why should we care? I think the issue is the speed of the change. It is a lot more expensive to take care of old people than little kids and we don’t have the infrastructure. Old people schools? We all think we will be healthy and retire to lives of cruises and playing with grandchildren. Or whatever that idyllic existence looks like to each of us. I hope that it is like that.
Many seniors are staying in the workforce past their 60’s and personally, I think that is a good thing. I am not alone in my thinking. Have you tried to get a plumber or a technician lately? Did you notice that the doctor on call is your age? We don’t have enough skilled workers/professionals coming up in the younger generations. And, keeping your mind active improves the quality of your life.
However, when we aren’t well enough to work who will take care of us?
According to the LA Times*, only 2% of Californians have long term care insurance. Some people can qualify for Medi-Cal, but the allocation in the state budget won’t cover everyone who could use it. A 2015 AARP study found that 4.5 million family caregivers provided $57 billion worth of unpaid care in California. And, just to scare you further, the average cost of a home health worker in 2017 was $57,200. Whatever you were saving up your money for, rethink that. Generational wealth transfer may get eaten up with changing your diaper.
So get on the treadmill while you watch the baseball playoffs today. Go Dodgers, and you go, too!