The devastating toll of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes has had a domino effect on the entire senior living industry, according to a new report. Misconceptions about housing for older adults, along with negative perceptions about assisted living, independent living and active adult communities, have prompted many owners and operators to take a hard look at what this industry must do to reassure residents and families about safety and wellness. Continue reading
On a recent visit to south Florida, I met a quite extraordinary 90-year-old named Jules. He’s a former high-level business executive, who still practices law and sells real estate as a second-act career. Jules lives in a Type A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that feels more like a luxury hotel than a place for “old people.”
The former Connecticut resident described how much he loves the independent living facility, which is very similar to a luxury high rise. There’s a full service dining room — jackets required for men — that features healthy daily gourmet dinner specials like baked salmon. Linen tablecloths and wood paneling makes it feel like an upscale restaurant. There’s also a well-stocked communal library, common living room and card/game room off the lobby. Continue reading
The Older Americans Act – signed into law on July 14, 1965 – mandated a national conference on aging every 10 years. I’ve attended the past two White House Conferences on Aging (1995, 2005), and this decade’s event is far different from the previous ones.
This conference was preceded by five, one-day, invitation-only “forums;” prior conferences featured hundreds of federally sanctioned local events. At the one-day forums, mornings were spent listening to national and local experts, then attendees separated into special interest groups for the afternoon to discuss – and then report back on – one of four designated topics. Here is how one attendee assessed the forum in Boston. Continue reading
A lot is written about people who don’t save enough for retirement. But what about older adults who saved diligently, only to find the value of their nest eggs depleted in this low-interest rate environment?
I’m not talking here about stocks that take a tumble, slicing into their value. I’m talking about the interest rates that older people earn on money put away in bonds, money market funds, or certificates of deposit – and that they count on to supplement Social Security payments in their retirement years.
When these interest rates are at historically low levels, as they are now, people who counted on earning 5 percent to 7 percent annually from their savings can find themselves instead earning instead 1 percent to 2 percent. That can make a real difference in the affordability of their retirement plans and their ability to handle expenses such as payments for housing, food, prescription medications or out-of-pocket medical expenses.
For a really good examination of the issue, look at this story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by Jennifer Bjorhus. It’s full of detailed analysis and personal stories that illustrate this problem which, it’s safe to say, is playing out with seniors in every community across the United States. Continue reading
For many baby boomers, retirement is a dream that’s slipping away.
Several publications have looked at this issue over the past few months, documenting the economic malaise that’s gripping boomers as they advance toward the age of 65 – once a retirement goalpost for many.
The most recent story that caught my attention is by Diane Stafford of The Kansas City Star. She does a good job of telling readers what’s going on – people are delaying retirement and, increasingly, planning to work in retirement – and provides data that puts the trend in context:
“In 1991, just one in 10 workers told the Employee Benefit Research Institute that they planned to wait to retire until they were older than 65. By 2007, three in 10 said that.
“This year? More than four in 10.”
Blame it on an economic downturn that’s thrown older workers out of jobs earlier than they had expected, devastated nest eggs and diminished housing values. (Older adults’ homes are often their single most valuable asset and, when housing loses value, they have fewer resources to get them through their non-working years.) Continue reading