- More than half (52%) of oldest Boomers (and their spouses) have fully retired, up from 19% in 2007 and 45% in 2011.
- 86% of the oldest Boomers are currently collecting Social Security benefits- of those, 43% started collecting earlier than expected.
- Most are now empty nesters, but have more grandchildren (average of 4.8 up from 2.6 in 2008); 13% are caring for parents or relatives.
- The majority (82%) rate their health as good to excellent. They won’t view themselves as “old” until they reach the average age of 78.5.
Long-term services and supports are provided and paid for both privately and publicly. More than half of that care is donated—as informal care—by family members and friends, most commonly by spouses and adult daughters. Providing care imposes costs on informal caregivers in the form of time, effort, forgone wages, and other economic costs. Assuming that informal caregivers provide care similar in value to that provided by home health aides, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the value of that care totaled approximately $234 billion in 2011. Because many informal caregivers must sacrifice time that might otherwise be spent earning a wage, the value of that care in terms of forgone wages could be even higher.
- People under age 85 with limitations in three or more ADLs who live at home rather in a care facility receive an average of 9 hours of assistance per day.
- People age 85 or older with that degree of impairment typically receive about 11 hours of assistance per day, mostly informal.
- And for those whose aging parents 85 and up who have limitations with three or more ADLs and who also have cognitive limitations (this includes dementia) receive an average of more than 14 hours a day of informal and paid care.
- The cost of an unlicensed home care worker who provides basic care is paid out of pocket for those who are not eligible for public benefits. According to the 2012 Met Life study of costs of long term care, including home care workers, the average national cost is $20 per hour.