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August 24, 2021

When boomers ruled the earth

Christopher Buckley’s satirical novel ‘Boomsday’ takes place in a not-so-distant future in which the U.S. is facing a multi-trillion-dollar deficit and massive tax hikes to pay for the retirement of all those resource-hogging baby boomers.

Fed up with shouldering the burden of this pampered group of ‘wrinklies,’ Buckley’s 29-year-old protagonist devises a plan: Pass a law urging and handsomely rewarding boomers to kill themselves — suicide is to be known as “voluntary transitioning — at the ripe old age of 70.

Of course, he was just kidding around. But those worried about aging boomers’ effect on the welfare state aren’t — not by a long shot. Predictions for the nation’s health care system have been nothing short of apocalyptic.

Here’s the latest: Four in every five Canadians believe that the demands placed on the health system by aging boomers will result in reduced access and lower quality care, according to a recent study by the Canadian Medical Association.

There are also widespread fears — by close to 75% of respondents — that ballooning health costs will result in significant tax hikes for younger workers already struggling to get ahead.

Part of the challenge, of course, is that the post-war Boomer generation simply spends much more on health care than their parents did.

They visit the doctor more, they consume more services, and they aren’t afraid to use modern medicine to improve their quality of life.

Trolling for more health-care dollars for her constituents, Dr. Anne Doig, the outgoing president of the CMA and, says Canadians are right to be concerned about the future of their health care, arguing that an imminent ‘silver tsunami’ of aging baby boomers could badly strain the health system.

Will boomers bankrupt the system? How worried are you about the increasing costs of health care? Have you done anything to prepare for the future, such as looking at supplemental health insurance?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...