50% of boomers may face a home vs. healthcare decision
ORLANDO, Fla. – May 1, 2019 – Researchers at the University of Chicago said in a recent study that many adults "aging in place" could find that unexpected healthcare costs threaten their ability to keep their home.
According to the study that looked at probabilities in 10 years, more than half of middle-income Americans – those with about $25,000 to $74,300 a year in financial resources – over age 75 will be unable to afford the care they need to live independently or the expense of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
The study attributes this upcoming problem to a combination of factors, including rising housing and care costs, longer lifespans, increasing chronic health conditions and a shrinking population of would-be family caregivers.
This issue could be serious in Florida, where nearly 20 percent of the population is over 65 – the highest rate in the nation.
Researchers noted that the study may even underestimate the problem, since it calculated expenses that included only $5,000 in average annual out-of-pocket medical spending. Across Florida, nearly a half-million residents age 75 and older qualify as middle income, and that figure likely will grow substantially in the coming decade.
AARP Florida spokesman Dave Bruns says the state could adopt lower-cost solutions from other states, like Washington, which spends half of its Medicaid long-term-care budget on home- and community-based care services. Florida currently spends 22 percent.
Meanwhile, Bob Kramer, founder and strategic adviser at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, which commissioned the study, said investors must recognize the potential for developing products and housing solutions for this aging population.
Source: Orlando Sentinel (04/24/19) Santich, Kate
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