Time: Boomers Can Solve Their Own Housing Crisis

Aging boomers are responsible for a pending housing crisis, with about 13% of today’s Americans falling into the senior population and affordable long term housing options dwindling, according to a Time article published this week. Where are we going to put them all? Time asks. There’s still time for the boomers to use their clout for the betterment of their future, the article says. But with many more seniors living alone and the costs of long term care becoming out of reach for most people, some creative solutions are needed.

“Why couldn’t they harness their wealth and political power to campaign for high-quality, publicly subsidized housing for the millions of senior citizens who are in need of better support? Sure, it’s not wholly selfless, since they’ll be the first to benefit. But in this case they could be forgiven, or maybe even appreciated, because building better places for themselves today will provide younger Americans with better choices tomorrow.

Some of the impending crisis has to do with a sociological shift towards aging alone. In 1950, only 10% of elderly Americans lived solo. Today, a full third live alone, as do 40% of those over age 85. Aging alone isn’t always a hardship. On the contrary, older people who live alone often spend more time with friends and neighbors than those who are married. But those who do become disconnected suffer immeasurably and become vulnerable to all kinds of health problems.

The most affluent Boomers will buy themselves out of this problem by moving into assisted-living facilities. For most Americans, however, high-quality supportive housing is prohibitively expensive. A report published by the trade publication Assisted Living Executive estimates the monthly rent for a typical room at about $3,500, or $42,600 per year, and residents who need special services, such as home care or medication reminders, pay even more.

Read the original article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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