As the Baby Boomer Generation start to reach retirement age, a new survey conducted by long-term care annuities provider ‘Partnership’ has indicated that around 60% of those over 50 surveyed believed that our aging population should contribute towards their own care costs.
This recent poll seems to suggest that our up and coming retirement generation have a greater sense of responsibility and inter-generational justice. As our elderly generation begins to become the greater proportion of our population for the first time in history, it seems that the Baby Boomers are quite aware of their stronger financial position.
Our over 60’s are the generation that has benefited from a growth in property prices, free university education and final salary pension schemes. In contrast their children face ever-increasing taxes, costs for education and an inability to even get on the property ladder. The dramatic fact is that over four-fifths of the wealth in the UK is held by the over 60’s, who also hold over £1 trillion in un-mortgaged equity.
As this generational shift continues, and the younger generation struggle against coping with debt, the dwindling tax resources can only inevitably lead to a crisis in funding long-term elderly care. It is interesting that this recent research highlights how the baby boomers do not wish to shoulder the younger generation with the burden for funding their care.
Social class plays a significant role in attitudes towards funding care, with those belonging to the middle and upper classes, being not only more willing to share the costs of care, but also being more aware of the dramatic demographic changes. There is a sharp contrast in the price of care from the North to the South, with the price of residential care homes in Oxford being roughly 40% more expensive than Care homes in Newcastle and the surrounding areas,
It seems the baby boomers will continue to shape change at all frontiers of their lives and growing old is no exception.