By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions
Over the past couple of weeks, I have come across several social media postings that really reinforced the benefits of the assisted living waiver programs in Illinois and Indiana.
The programs are designed to benefit older adults of all incomes, especially low-income older adults, who need some assistance to maintain their independence. They provide a wonderful alternative to a nursing home or to struggling alone at home. At the same time, the states and the federal government save money. It’s smarter Medicaid.
The social media postings highlighted recent research studies that focused on older adults in the United States and their ability to survive and thrive in retirement.
One of the reports was the result of the partnership between Edward Jones and Age Wave and reflected the results of a Harris Poll of more than 12,000 adults in the United States and Canada.
On one hand, retirement provides the opportunity for older adults to live active, engaged, purposeful lives and to spend more quality time with family and friends. Starting around the age of 50, adults start having a greater sense of happiness, more freedom, and more resilience.
Another study conducted by the Research Center of Finland noted that older adults today are much happier and healthier than their counterparts were 30 years ago.
Retirees want to be active, engaged, contribute to the well-being of others, stay physically fit, learn, and try new things.
At the same time, the Edward Jones/Age Wave report notes that three-quarters of retirees have experienced at least one curveball event in retirement. The curveballs include health issues, financial setbacks, and the death of a loved one. Click here to read the report.
The research shows that most retirees experience health challenges. More than 9 out of 10 individuals 60+ years of age have at least one chronic health condition, with 8 out of 10 having at least two.
More than 25% of retirees find themselves caring for a loved one
Financially, many older adults lack the financial resources to afford retirement. The lifetime cost for someone retiring today averages $1 million. Yet the median retirement savings for individuals 55 to 74 years of age is under $170,000.
Less than one-third of the adults who were surveyed indicated that they could afford a retirement lasting 20 years. Their biggest shock is the rising cost of living due to inflation.
Census data shows that less than 50% of working individuals in the U.S, have any retirement savings. One in 5 individuals 59 years of age and older have $0 net worth or less.
Two-thirds of the millennials who were surveyed said they were concerned about their parents
A recent NBC News report noted that the number of older adults who cannot afford the medications prescribed by their doctor is growing. As of 2022, one in five adults 65 years of age either skipped or delayed getting their medications because of the cost.
Many older adults struggle to balance paying for food and their medications.
If you or a loved one are in need of some help to maintain independence, I invite you to take a look at the affordable assisted living communities we manage. In Illinois and Indiana, there are communities located throughout the state. Many of the communities are designed to serve older adults of all incomes. Some are designed to exclusively serve low-income older adults. Click here to access information about the communities Gardant operates.