Silver Tsumani

Dale Immekus |

The City of Lodi is facing a silver tsunami in the coming years. What can we do about it?

This is a subject which I have written about in the past. As the new year approaches and we talk about resolutions, my hope is that our community comes together resolving to do our best in accommodating the myriad of senior needs.   

The silver tsunami refers to the high number of baby boomers aging into retirement. Here is some background according to the numbers. The City of Lodi has approximately 66,000 residents according to the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program Vintage 2017 Tables. Approximately 9,000 residents are age 65 or older representing about 14% of our current population. The next age group to consider is age 50 through age 64. This group represents about 17% or Lodi citizens who are, the silver tsunami coming our way. So what does this mean and why write about this in the Money Talk column?

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, close to one-quarter of workers said they had less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Nearly half of those surveyed said they had less than $25,000 saved. The baby boomer demographic as a group have not planned well financially and left unaddressed this is a Money Talk issue. That is not to say money is the only solution but clearly, workers in general and the baby boomers more specifically, have not done a very good job planning or saving for their retirement years and they are headed our way hence, the silver tsunami.

We can get a closer look at Lodi senior’s current financial health from the U.S. Census Bureau. Here we find that the mean average of Social Security income received by 88% of Lodi citizens age 65 and older is $18,707 annually. Another 54% of our seniors receive $24,840 of retirement income annually. Combined this is a total annual income of $43,547 but only for a little more than half of our seniors. There are many of our seniors who only have social security income to rely on. That won’t go very far not even in livable, lovable Lodi.

Adding to the challenge are the following facts: Approximately 37% of our seniors have some level of disability; 6.2% receive supplemental security income which; 3.6% receive aid from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The bottom line is that many and very likely a majority of our seniors are living in some level of poverty and need.

In the American culture we are not accustomed to having multiple generations living in the same household. However, due to the financial challenges described above we now find commonality with the term sandwich generation. While we may or may not all be living under the same roof, this term describes people who are raising children and caring for elderly parents at the same time.

The National Longitudinal Study states that on average, adults in the sandwich generation are spending approximately $10,000 annually and giving 1,035 hours of their time care giving. In most cases, the money is going to the younger generation and the time towards care is for our elderly parents. On the chance of sounding sexist, my bet is that women are hit the hardest emotionally and physically in these situations. So what we can do as individuals and as a community?

We can start by taking ownership and responsibility for our own lives. If you haven’t started a plan, then get to it and the sooner the better. We can also instill this same sense of responsibility to our children but take heed, if you are not leading by example here, you will have no credibility. And this may offend some but please stop enabling your children!

As a community we need to come together in proactive ways to find solutions and hopefully ease this financial burden. Some existing local resources are: Hutchins Street Square (http://www.hutchinsstreetsquare.com/) which offers adult day care and swimming for seniors; the LOEL Center & Gardens (http://www.loelcenter.net/) which offers numerous social activities and educational assistance, free legal, tax preparation, many other services and referrals; Human Services Agency of San Joaquin (http://www.sjchsa.org/). Being implemented soon is a new Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) which is a government Medicare program for individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and MediCal benefits. There are more resources which deserve mentioning however, we need to understand that many existing resources are already maxed out trying to meet the needs of those they are already serving. 

There are many individuals and entities who are already working toward solutions such as Adventist Health, the Lodi Senior Commission, the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce through it’s Vision 2020 program and others.

A call to action. A call to care. Our community, city leaders, faith community, non-profits and concerned citizens all, need to ask how we can be a part of the solution with the coming silver tsunami. Until we talk again, be well.  

 

Registered Representative offering securities and advisory services through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.  Dedicated Financial & Insurance Services and IFG are unaffiliated entities.