“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.” It will also promote reader interaction by posting e-mail responses and answering reader questions. E-mail your questions or topic ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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With more than half of the voting population now over age 50, baby boomers hold a tremendous amount of power in November. The recession and its aftermath have left boomers’ retirement plans and prospects in flux (to put it nicely), and many of us are looking for more economic stability in both the labor and housing market.
A new series of surveys by AARP find that the issues most important to boomer voters are those that will impact their retirement readiness, savings and security. Maintaining their current financial situation, along with health issues are also among boomers’ most pressing personal concerns when it comes to campaign issues.
Our generation has always played an active role in politics, and we show no signs of slowing down as we approach or are in retirement. The nation’s massive debt has made the future of programs some boomers rely on like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security hazy. But at the same time, more boomers are planning on tapping these funds to cover the shortfall (or complete lack there of) in retirement savings. Being able to save enough money to maintain our lifestyles in retirement is critical, and the current economic climate has made it difficult to save for and rebuild nest eggs.
“Social Security, Medicare, health care and retirement income are inextricably linked to quality of life but the long-term funding of these privately paid or entitlements are in jeopardy,” says Len Hayduchok, president of Dedicated Senior Advisors in Princeton, N.J. “The financial viability of the United States is at stake if they are not addressed, but they require painful choices that no one wants to feel. The major, fundamental problem is that there is not a productive discussion on how non-individually funded retirement income and health care will be provided for even one more generation, and until that process begins, there is no hope for a bright economic outlook regardless of the outcome of this or any future national election."
With the election just around the corner, the campaign ads and rhetoric are heating up—but so is something else—non-retired boomers’ anxiety levels. According to the AARP, working boomers are not only concerned about losing their job, but also that prices are rising faster than their income—especially when it comes to the cost of health care.
The AARP reports that no matter their political affiliation, boomer voters want a president that will strengthen Medicare and Social Security and will work across party lines to find solution to fix our growing deficit.
No matter what your political views, boomers are a key voting demographic and need to be heard . Some of us are unhappy and scared that we will lose benefits like Medicare that we rely on while other fears are more general like the direction of the country. But remember we can’t change things unless we vote.