Boomers worry about health costs in retirement
As the wave of baby boomers begin to retire, the strains of funding Canada’s health-care system will only grow over the next decade.
Combined with rising costs for most things in general, economists say health care spending, left unchecked, will become unsustainable.
Add to that the prospect of reduced or even total elimination of company health benefits, and aging boomers may be right to be worried.
As it is, doctors are already having a hard time dealing with aging boomers and their increasing caseload of chronic illness, according to a recent survey.
Almost three quarters of them say their caseloads are taking up more of their time, and they blame chronic conditions, extra paper work, an aging population and increasing patient expectations.
In 2010, doctors said 61 per cent of urgent patients were seen within a day — but for non-urgent cases, patients had to wait an average three weeks, or 12 weeks for a specialist.
The solution: Increase funding for long-term care facilities, home care and caregivers and improve utilization in general. But that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, it seems.
And even if it does, with the current health accord between Ottawa and the provinces due to expire in 2014, it’s still not clear just how to fit the bill.
In the meantime, even though they only account for a fraction of costs right now and are unfairly targetted, boomers are going to have to think harder about more than how they can afford their health care.
They'll need to strategize ways to coordinate their care, take care of themselves now to maintain health, prevent any worsening of a chronic condition they currently have and prevent from picking any new ones up along the way.
Is it simply unfair to blame the “silver tsunami” for all this? Even if you’re not there yet, what are you doing to prepare for this uncertain future?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.
Posted by: Tania | Jun 29, 2021 11:03:30 AM
Seriously...how could you pose such a stupid question.
Of course the "Silver tsunami" is to blame. In 2030, 1 Billion people will be 65 or older.
And they are the ones who are in power now. They are the ones who are making choices and decisions that will not only effect them and their best interests, but do you really think they are going to worry about the generations that come after? There is no way they are going to inconvience themselves, to care about the rest.
This age group will do what they have always done...worry about themselves!
And this will continue to show this in the way that they use and abuse not only themselves (they are the fattest, and most unhealty age group in history) But also in the way that they do buisness, in the last 50 years we have become the most wasteful and selfish society the world has ever seen in terms of waste and harmful by-products, produced by companies and corporations. So why would healthcare be treated any differently by them. It is a system put there to help, so why would they not abuse it? So this is a better question: "If a system is there to help you, should you based on demographics abuse it, and leave nothing for the next generation?"
Posted by: DianeA33 | Jun 29, 2021 11:40:20 AM
I'm wondering what they mean by the "Baby boomers", there are always going to be bbaby boomers, in any generation...I'm a Baby Boomer of 64, July 15 (65).
I've worked very hard to raise three children on my own, never asked for naught, I even had two jobs most times. I wasn't always available for my kids, and, they've told me about it in the past. They would have rather have me at home more often, even if it meant they would have less. I did it and am proud of it. Now, I read that where going to the back burner. We made this last century. I think that they (the gov't) should think of us as saviors, because we instored these pensions, and deserves our share. When they become Baby Boomers, they' ll be only TOO HAPPY to get money to live on normally. So we still have to pitch in for them now. NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT...GIVE US WHAT WE WORKED SO HARD FOR !!! I'm coming upon my pension next month coming. I want my pensions and whatever comes with it. I've been to work since I was 13 y/o, doesn't that count for something???
Posted by: Theresa Fahl | Jun 29, 2021 11:56:20 AM
Tania what age did you start working and are you even on your own or are you still living at home with your baby boomer parents that work hard so you can live at home until your 30.
Posted by: To the point | Jun 29, 2021 12:08:25 PM
Drop a few less boms forget F 35 purchase cut political abuse like outragious pensions patronage appointments to unnessasary high paying jobs . To name a few.
Posted by: Tania | Jun 29, 2021 12:23:10 PM
Actually I am 36. I have worked since I was 14. My husband and I paid our own way through University, and we payed for our cars, wedding, and house all on our own too. We have good jobs, save hard and invest all on our own. If I waited for my parents and their generation....I know I will be left with nothing.
Posted by: My Opinion | Jun 29, 2021 5:01:54 PM
Tania, you sound like a self centered spoiled brat. We are seniors, I pay my own medical premiums. (NO DISCOUNT) and I pay full premiums for Pharmacare (NO DISCOUNT). take a look around and see all the obese children being raised by people your age and younger. You think the seniors are using up all your benefits, well I think perhaps it is time to look at your own generation of users and abusers. The I WANT EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW generation. Time to grow up and look around at a world that is fast declining into the abyss. You and your husband are fortunate and I don't doubt that you have worked hard to get where you are, but don't lay the blame on one doorstep. There are a lot of people to blame, just not seniors.
Posted by: SP | Jun 29, 2021 5:55:05 PM
Is it simply unfair to blame the “silver tsunami” for all this? Yes,
Is it fair to apportion blame to groups and individuals who absolve themselves of responsibility and at points in the future demand outragous priced treatments to fix what they have neglected? Yes. That said, we do also need to examine why healthcare has gotten so expensive. Why are so few doctors allowed to practice in Canada and why must doctors educated largely on the public dime be rewarded so richly? Again on the public dime. Alongside that we should also examine why drug breakthroughs discovered again (largely) in publicily funded universities turn into such a massively profitable venture for a small number of firms employing a very small number of people.
The real issue isn't healthcare, it is retirement age. The population is aging to previously unimaginable levels but still retiring in their 50's & 60's. From what I've seen of my parents generation many people's visits to doctors tend to spike shortly after retirement regadless of age of retirement, which isn't a problem if you die by your 66th birthday but is a problem if you're a teacher retiring at 55 and living till you are 90.
We should change the working world so everyone works around 33 hours a week 4 days a week unless they are incapable of working or are independently wealthy. That won't happen though, Just like Greece we will put it off until the whole house of cards collapses and pensioners go from the high life to poverty. Sadly we people just don't want to moderate our approach to life (McMansion..McDiabetes...McFuture)
Posted by: Sharon | Jun 29, 2021 6:42:20 PM
I am one of the first Baby Boomers to reach 65 years of age this year and now have arthritis which I acquired while working as a RN looking after the previous generation whom we so loved and respected and now miss so much. We Baby Boomers didn't deprive them of what they earned. We paid more taxes than any generation in history so that they could have pensions and health care to maintain their quality of life. We paid for our children to have extra curricular activities and university education so that they could compete in the world they would live in as adults. Hopefully, we helped them to become good, productive and loving citizens who would also raise loving children, give back to society and help those in need. That is our job as mature adults and these qualities should be passed on to future generations.
There seems to be so much concern about our generation. What are we suppose to do? Commit suicide or be euthanized so as not to use the healthcare system and be a burden on
society? We didn't look at the previous generation as a burden; we looked after them which is the correct avenue to take.
Many of we seniors are still paying for our medical, dental, extended benefits and paying taxes. We may even be depriving ourselves of some of the frills in life so as to have an inheritance for our children. Hopefully, the younger generation will find some love in their heart to also look after us.
As far as the doctors are concerned, what did they expect when they entered the medical field?
Didn't they do any research as to what they would be doing after medical school or was it the lure of the almighty dollar which made them want to be doctors? Surely, they don't want the hospitals to be full of ill young people so that their practices are more interesting! Young people should be healthy, working members of society. If the doctors are unhappy, maybe they chose
the wrong career.
May everyone have a long, happy and healthy retirement!
Posted by: David | Jun 29, 2021 11:53:21 PM
I think you have missed an important point. You and your husband no doubt have worked hard to achieve the lifestyle you enjoy, however, the university educations that gave you your advantages were heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Your tuition expenses paid only a fraction of the cost. The generation you so readily malign deserves some credit for building the educational infrastructure that enabled you to succeed.
Posted by: MarkC5 | Jun 30, 2021 5:38:14 AM
To: My Opinion,
Do you not get a sustantial return on your medical expenses when you fill your tax return in?
Posted by: Let's be fair | Jun 30, 2021 8:08:52 AM
It is the rise in the number of people living with chronic health conditions, like hypertension, diabetes and depression, which is forcing health costs to climb—not aging per se. The more chronic illnesses a person suffers from, REGARDLESS OF AGE, the more health services they utilize; such as visiting a specialist, consulting a pharmacist, going to emergency and being admitted to hospital. Hospitals are indeed filled with older people but the frequency of visits is largely comprised of a much broadedr broader selection of the public ... older people die but the younger ones who are ill frequently do not.
Posted by: Aron | Jun 30, 2021 12:30:33 PM
What will I do, you ask? Die. It is just that simple. I am relatively young (35), have worked hard ever since I was eligible to work, haven't asked for anything, but instead have tried to contribute to society for the better, and hold three degrees, but with this economy and the fact that I have lost my job...well. Quite simply; die.
Posted by: Colleen Moore | Jun 30, 2021 1:13:22 PM
Baby boomers pay into Canadian health care as they pay into a system and many choice a healthy lifestyle and natural ways to keep away the doctor. Baby boomers are enjoying life to the fullest as many enjoy traveling around the globe in their gloden years. But then beef up immigration with millions of immigrants who haven't paid into anything to blow the Canadian Health Care System all to hell.
Bringing in young immigrants to start up families isn't going to provide health for baby boomers who have paid into the system all their lives now is it when you got immigrants enjoying the full benefits they clearly haven't paid for nor the previous generations. Do the math.
Posted by: retirement | Jun 30, 2021 3:12:13 PM
The problem is most of society is selfish. The baby boomers told their children to go to school and get the best jobs and make the most money (since most of them at the time worked blue collar jobs most of their life). Now their children are in the work force and want it all forgetting about their parents and the contributions that they made for them in life.
The health care in this country needs to be reformed from the ground up too much money is being wasted and the system isn't working. It's outdated and inefficient. Our population in this country and the age expectancy is increasing; the costs associated with maintaining this system is proving to be too costly. Doctors spend a lot of time educating themselves and money in the process. They need to regulate the profession and curb the doctors wages, nurses, practitioners in general.
There needs to be profound change for all. When people watch dumb ass shows and sit like an idiot in front of television and watch Jersey Shore, we'll continue to see declines in future generations. It's a declining slope and we'll all fall down!
You boomers who robbed your parents of their home and it's appreciation, taking lines of credit and equity loans then dumping your stupified parents with dementia into retirement homes in horrid conditions. I pity you, time to pay up. Your time is coming :D
Generation I want it now!
I can go on and on like an energizer bunny lol..
Posted by: Interesting1234 | Jun 30, 2021 3:40:33 PM
Simply put, without me wasting my breathe since it will be combatted, almost every person here in the comments are on opposite sides of the spectrums, and instead of both sides taking responsibility you point the fingers. Although I may not think about it all of the time, my parents raised me properly, and for the most part encouraged my growth for my entire life, and I would never think once about putting them in a home even if it were a burden to myself. On the flip side, if your children at this point want to throw you in a home instead of taking care of you, there's a reason. Whether it be you drove them into a career or path that didn't make them the happiest (aka, encouraging university instead of let's say a music career so that they could have a "better life").
On some other notes: parents these days with obese children are 100% at fault. If universal healthcare is to succeed it needs to be less intertwined with the US, or the US needs to succeed in establishing universal health care (without explaining, google canadian students going to the US to become doctors). In terms of the environment, I agree 100% with the baby boomer generation being selfish. Oh, and most of the world's wealthiest and most screwed up people are of what age?
Posted by: Canuckguy | Jun 30, 2021 10:05:27 PM
I'm a baby boomer. I was given a 24 hour blood pressure cuff and due to an overload on the system(caused by us Baby Boomers, I guess), I had to wait 9 months for results and due to delayed treatment, I now have a damaged heart. So I guess the system works, I will most likely died prematurely and save the pension system a chunk of money and save the Medicare system the problem of seeing me through a long old age.
Posted by: DianeA33 | Jul 2, 2021 7:57:10 AM
Don't you people remember what it was like when we were younger??? If we needed to see the doctor, we had to pay out of our own pocket, the pharmacy and drugs were paid in full, we didn't have pension funds in mmost companies, no insurance unless we bought our own, when the lot of us didn't earn enough to afford one. Anything we wnated to do, we had to do on our own; we didn't have gov't grants to help our education, we had to do on our own. People, I ask you, we had doctors visit at home for mere pittances, and, we didn't leave our parents in hallways in the hospitals then, no more then leaving them out to dry in their senior years. when I retired not so many years ago, but because I wanted to take care of my aging mother witch I had promised myself I'd do. I don't regret it, and, I'm no worse off ware for it either, she got sick, and I would be at her side, and, having had the forethought of going back to courses that would enable me to to do that for others in the near future, I did with pride. I was tires after years taking its toll on me for the treatments of my mom, when she came home with problems from being pulmunary (MPOC) then have a stomach bag, changing diapers and washing her. I didn't want my mom going into institution. when she passed away, I went back to work, doing the work I did for seniors (geriatrics), and not that well paid either, but, I did it because that's what we did then. I'm going to be 65 soon, and, I don't regret anything, not one bit. If I could, I'd do it all over again WITH PRIDE, that was our PAY THEN. In another 15-20 years the other seniors are goign to come along, we will have paid for them to be well served with whatever money we had. I DID IT THE, I"D DO IT AGAIN... To all seniors, did we ever think we could come down this way, and, society, and, the gov't would let us down so bad????????????
Posted by: Kehoah | Jul 2, 2021 10:34:45 AM
The Gov't LOVED the Boomers when working cause of the gush of tax dollars which the gov't enjoyed splurging all over the place. There are alot of doctors that are double dipping the health care system to make a quick buck. Yes, we in fact do need the F35 Jet fighters as the next war(s) will be over our resources - americans are looking at our gas,oil and water right now.
Young people are pathetic employees as all they want is thier cheque, don't have any works skills and don't beleive in putting in the work the Boomers did for a good income.
Guess all the boomers shuld go away and die inorder to please the gov't and the younger crowd. And then complaint will be there are not enough skilled workers and tax dollars..........which there won't be once we are all gone.............damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Posted by: Myron1043 | Jul 2, 2021 2:06:16 PM
I am a boomer who has worked 38 years in healthcare - approximately half in Canada and half in the USA. I have seen both healthcare systems from the inside out - and we in Canada have the BEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM in the world. Not perfect but GREAT! The majority of USA personal bankrupcies are caused by healthcare costs (and these people are insured). Just the (10 or 20%) co-pays alone force people to lose everything in the USA.
Also, as a boomer, I agree we paid our fair share of income tax over long careers. I can't believe there are individuals that are BITTER and UPSET that it is now our time to collect our pensions. I suspect those individuals are chronic malcontents or are missing a chip or two.
Posted by: Kehoah | Jul 2, 2021 4:02:02 PM
Good on ya Myron - thanks for hearing me and I do hear you on the healthcare issue on both sides of the border.
It's unforgiveable that the younger crowd are BITTER and UPSET with us and definelty FORGET that it is us and our forefathers that built thier hospitals they were born in and the current roads they drive thier cars/bikes down and fought the wars to keep them free so they can complain.