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June 29, 2021

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.

Merd 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.



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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...