Longer Lifespans, Lower Retirement Savings, Squeeze Both Seniors And Caregivers

Assisted living is expected to see strong growth in the years ahead, as the baby boomers hit their seventies. But the demographic wave also poses a stark economic challenge to the industry.

Advances in medicine mean the boomers are much more likely to live into their nineties or beyond than previous generations. But the typical retirement plan for those now hitting retirement is unlikely to carry them that far.

“There are way too many of us relative to the generation underlying us. We’ve got about 25-30 million seniors today, and we’re about to have 70 million.”

Patricia Will is co-founder of Houston-based Belmont Village Senior Living. She’s also a boomer herself.

“And it’s not at all clear that, with fewer children underneath us, we will be able to take advantage of family support in the same way that seniors do today.”

Will says that means the question of who’ll pay for the care of new residents is one of the biggest problems facing assisted living facilities. Roughly 10% of Houston’s population is over 65, compared to nearly 14% nationally. That gives the city a bit more time than the rest of the country to find a solution.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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