Aging Options

Experts Predict Big Changes in Aging and Retirement in Coming Years

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At AgingOptions, we focus a great deal of attention every day on the multi-faceted field of retirement. It’s a fascinating topic with an infinite number of variables, always changing and evolving. That’s why this article from a website called New Retirement was of particular interest to us – and we think, especially if you’re a baby boomer facing retirement, you’ll find it interesting, too.

This fascinating and challenging article is called simply, “How Aging and Retirement will Change in 2017 and Beyond.” The editors of New Retirement looked at some of the recent opinion essays written by experts in the field of aging, published on the popular aging website Next Avenue. (Next Avenue calls these experts their “List of Influencers on Aging,” and if you’re curious who these experts are you can read more by clicking here.) For the New Retirement article, the editorial staff selected seven areas where the experts in the field predict big changes are ahead. Let’s take a look at a few and see if you agree.

For starters, some experts suggest that it might be time to get rid of the generational labels that tend to divide us. As one of the Influencers put it, “Maybe we aren’t really Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, Millenials and the Greatest Generation.” Instead, she suggests, maybe we’re all “Perennials.”  That term suggests that, regardless of age, we are “ever-blooming, relevant people” who understand how to live in the moment. As perennials we stay current with world events and we understand how to use technology appropriately. One important facet of living like a perennial is to have friends of all ages, not just people of our own generation. Intergenerational living tends to keep us feeling and acting younger and more alive, some experts on aging would suggest.

Speaking of intergenerational living, others among the Influencers are recommending that it’s a good and healthy trend to mix generations and stop segregating ourselves in the area of our housing choices. Part of this idea of living multigenerationally arises out of necessity: many older people need help from their families with activities of daily living, while some younger people, caught in the vice grip of a tight economy and rising housing prices, are moving back home. Why not make a virtue of necessity, these analysts suggest? “We all need help sometimes and if our adult children can help care for us as we age, we may be able to solve some of the problems around the tremendous expense of long term care,” says the New Retirement article.

This intergenerational mindset goes far beyond housing. When asked what one thing she would change about aging, AARP executive Susan Reinhard responded, “If I could only change one thing, I would ensure that all families are better prepared and supported to care for one another as we age. We must make family caregiving a national priority.” Asked the same question, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner answered, “If I could change anything about aging, I would create more intergenerational programs in our country. We need to find ways to utilize our aging Americans as resources, not as burdens.” Eisner noted how much seniors have to contribute to society, and how doing so benefits everyone, the seniors included. “Most seniors want to remain productive,” said Eisner, “and we should celebrate that.” We agree wholeheartedly.

Here’s one more trend cited in the New Retirement piece: our present focus on what we commonly call “Health Care” will shift to a much more well-rounded approach, emphasizing “Wellness.” We like this idea very much, especially as it pertains to seniors. Too much of our present healthcare system is about medicine – treating the body like a machine and always reacting to problems instead of solving them ahead of time. “However,” states the article, “modern doctors have begun to embrace good nutrition, stress reduction and exercise as powerful ways to foster health. Experts predict that this trend will continue.” This, we should point out, is something most geriatricians already know – one of the key reasons we urge our clients to make a geriatric physician the key member of their health team.

The bottom line when it comes to aging is about expectations. There is no reason why aging, in the words of one Influencer, has to represent a time of “disease-related decline.” Instead we have the knowledge now to “transform this precious stage of life into one of thriving….by reducing toxic stress, improving nutrition and activity and investing in social connectivity and life purpose.”  We would add one critical factor: you will need a solid plan for your retirement years, because none of this happens by accident. We help our clients develop what we refer to as a LifePlan, which is a plan that takes all the essential aspects of retirement into account. We help you protect your assets with a carefully crafted financial plan. We also make certain your estate, and your dreams, are fully protected through careful legal preparation. We help you evaluate and plan for your housing needs and your medical insurance coverage, since housing and health represent essential pillars of retirement. Finally, we help you involve your family, since aging is (as we often say) a family affair. All this becomes part of your LifePlan – your key to a secure and fruitful retirement.

It’s easy to learn more about LifePlanning, simply by attending a LifePlanning Seminar in your area. Invest just a few hours and you’ll come away with a fresh new approach to living the rest of your life with enthusiasm and purpose. These seminars are free. Click here for the Upcoming Events page where you’ll find all the information, plus online registration – or call us during the week. Then prepare to live a longer and more purposeful life than you ever thought possible! We’ll be ready to be your guide.

(originally reported at

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