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'Golden years' not looking so shiny
Other opinions
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So, what’s on the baby boomer’s mind these days?
Paying medical bills in their later years, it seems.
What’s frightening to an increasing number of boomers as they approach the traditional retirement age is whether they can afford to retire at all.
A survey by The Associated Press and found the two biggest worries boomers have isn’t the inability to pursue a favorite activity, facing a major illness or even dying from it.
No, their main concerns are intertwined in many ways — whether they’ll be able to pay their medical bills in later life and whether they’ll lose their financial independence, which is something one whopping medical bill can cause if you’re not in a group medical plan.
More than two out of every five boomers who responded in the poll were very or extremely worried about being able to pay their medical bills in later life (43 percent) and losing their financial security (41 percent).
The fates are conspiring against those born from 1946-64. The recession showed just how fragile savings plans, like a 401k, can be. Health-care costs are projected to continue to soar during the next decade, and health-care reform doesn’t appear to have done anything to slow down the increases. No one has a lot of confidence that Congress can deal with borrowing limits and national-debt issues without first worrying about whether party politics ever will come up with a way to ensure that Social Security will be solvent.
The first boomers who hit the “magic” retirement age of 65 this year are probably in better shape than the younger members of the generation. They’re much more likely to be locked in with benefit pension plans, good retiree medical insurance and Social Security. But as companies have cut back during the past several years, string after string on those post-employment parachutes have been regularly snipped.
Worrying about all this is enough to give a boomer a headache. And what makes it worse is wondering whether they can afford the aspirin.

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