Friday, March 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A bunch of baby boomers in denial

By
From page OSF2 | June 12, 2014 |

As the 78 million baby boomers are pushed into the ranks of senior citizenship with each passing year, far too many are living in denial and are ill-prepared for the health and financial realities of their future.

The generation that is associated with the mantra “Don’t trust anyone over 30” is railing against an ageist society that they helped create. Clinging to illusions of perpetual youth, the boomer generation has failed to adequately prepare for the inevitability of their own aging.

Try as they might to push back the official designation of becoming a senior, 60 is not the new 40, and 70 is not the new 50. Changing terminology does not change reality. A 65-year-old “mature adult” or “working retiree” is no different from a 65-year-old “senior.”

Time for a reality check

Despite claims that they are more youthful and healthy than preceding generations, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (2013) titled “The Status of Baby Boomers’ Health in the United States: The Healthiest Generation?” found otherwise.

Fewer boomers rated their heath as excellent compared to traditionalists, those born between 1900-1945. They had higher blood pressure, cholesterol, hypertension and greater rates of diabetes. Boomers are more obese, have more functional limitations and are more likely to use an assistive walking device.

When it comes to lifestyle factors, boomers are lagging behind there, too. Only 35 percent of boomers in the study reported that they engaged in regular exercise compared to 50 percent in the traditionalists group. More than half of boomers admitted that they had a sedentary lifestyle and did not engage in regular physical activity, compared to 17 percent of the older group. To be fair, boomers did better than their elders in smoking less; however, overall they fare much worse.

The authors concluded that “Despite their longer life expectancy over previous generations, U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability, and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age.”

Denial not limited to health

Boomers differ from previous generations in financial preparedness as well. Traditionalists are known for setting money aside, paying with cash, and saving. As a cohort, they were more financially conservative than boomers who frequently adopt a “buy now, pay later” approach to money management.

A Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in 2013 found that 60 percent of workers age 55 and older have less than $100,000 in retirement savings, 43 percent have saved less than $25,000, and 36 percent have saved less than $10,000. To make matters worse, 46 percent of all workers surveyed do not even have a retirement plan.

The National Institute of Retirement Security (2013) found similar trends. In the report “The Retirement Savings Crises: Is it Worse Than We Think?” the authors found that the median savings for people 10 years away from retirement is only $12,000, and one-third of those ages 55 and 64 haven’t saved anything for retirement.

Despite the obvious lack of savings, more than two-thirds of workers report that they believe they are “doing a good job of preparing for retirement.”

Clearly, a discrepancy between perception and reality exists.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

American’s are known for their eternal optimism. Even when the recession ravaged our country, employment rates plunged and people lost entire savings, a national poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS found that 72 percent of Americans still believed in the American Dream. Optimism, coupled with a healthy dose of can-do attitude, keeps our hopes high and our outlook positive.

Optimism without action, however, does little to replenish bank accounts or maintain health. While still in good health and reaping the benefits of employment, it is easy to forget the impermanence of both. Unfortunately, many boomers face a bleak future and rather than deal with this impending reality, they remain in denial.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that one out of five seniors in California are living in poverty. That number is expected to rise as the baby boomers continue to retire. Many seniors who currently don’t have enough resources to make ends meet report that it was unexpected health issues, the death of a spouse, or outliving their resources that sent them spiraling into financial crisis.

Physical and financial health are inextricably linked in our older years. In order to be adequately prepared one must develop and follow a plan to maintain physical health as well as financial health.

Solano County, the Senior Coalition and the Solano Safety Net Steering Committee are hosting a Senior Poverty Summit on Tuesday to explore the severity and prevalence of poverty among seniors in the county. For information on the summit or to register, call Evelyn at 784-8269.

Rochelle Sherlock, M.A., is a consultant/adviser to the Senior Coalition of Solano County, an advisory board to Solano County’s Board of Supervisors.

Rochelle Sherlock

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Random thoughts on getting older by Annabelle . . . and Susan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Work progresses on freeway interchange project

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano College grad becomes Marvel superhero

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Caltrans announces planned I-80 closures

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
French guitarist brings world music to The Palms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Bay Area Stage readies ‘Mockingbird’ production

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Let’s take a 2nd look at 1st cars

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Bike to School Day poster contest begins

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Youth talent, scholarship awards dinner set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Free 8-week Journey Through Grief class set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Audubon Society to hold talk on blackbird decline

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

SF hospital performs rare chain kidney swap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
El niño might not be enough to help Ca drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
App developers take a swing at playgrounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Student protests block access to campus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
GOP legislator enters race for Boxer’s seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Japanese tsunami debris washing ashore

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Device in ‘Superbug’ outbreak not approved by FDA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Freight train carrying crude oil derails in Illinois

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Supreme Court allows for compassionate release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Off-duty officer accidentally shoots relative

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Air Force veteran who saved orphans in Korean War dies at 97

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Report: Suicides by girls and young women continue to climb

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Jurors in Jodi Arias case: We were 11-1 for death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Plane skids off LaGuardia runway, slams into fence near bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Father tells jury about boy’s death at Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Hillary Clinton email trove under review for release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Homeowners group denies playhouse for cancer-stricken girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attack on US envoy part of S.Korea’s violent protest history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Last Ebola patient is released in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Floods kill 42 people in Tanzania, authorities say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Death toll in east Ukraine mine blast reaches 33

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria says it killed military leader of al-Qaida group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iraq says Islamic State militants ‘bulldozed’ ancient site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Companies form coalition to conserve during drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 6, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: March 6, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview March 6-12, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Elizabeth McCracken wins $20,000 short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dying wish comes true: Dutch woman with ALS sees Rembrandts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Announcer Craig Sager returns from leukemia to NBA sideline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Comedy Central’s ‘Too Many Stars’ means plenty of laughs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Jaime Camil shines as telenovela star on ‘Jane the Virgin’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shania Twain to launch final tour in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Unfinished Business’ should never have started

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Review: ‘Second Best’ Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Entertainment calendar: March 6, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Hunter Pence breaks arm in Giants’ 8-6 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
Jones-Drew retires, Woodley released by Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Veteran defensive tackle Dockett joins 49ers on 2-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Maddon makes debut with Cubs in spring tie with A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Prosecutors: No criminal charge for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

As NFLPA election looms, Smith hopes to keep ‘boring job’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ashley, McConnell lead No. 5 Arizona to 99-60 rout of Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Holmes opens 4-shot PGA lead at Blue Monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Local Report: Labit pitches SCC to win over Folsom Lake

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

This date in sports history for March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Toyota rolls out first mass-market cars to run on hydrogen fuel cells

By The Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Google providing car insurance quotes in latest expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Can Etsy keep its folksy brand and make shareholders money?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Applications for US jobless aid inch up to a 10-month high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

A robust US job market is expected to keep delivering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Largest US banks all pass latest round of Fed ‘stress tests’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Ringling Bros. Circus to give up elephant acts in 3 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Michele Jarvis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Charles Thierry

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Thelma A. Roche

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9