The Baby Boomers are closing in on retirement age, if they are not there already. But the generation may not prove to be the big payday that retirement homes had hoped and prepared for with expanded living communities. Partly due to better medicine and longer lives, people are now waiting half a decade longer to move into a senior home, if they ever do.
Recent overbuilding in senior living communities has led to questions about basic demographics. Population trends are important and easily quantified, but the health and lifestyle choices of senior citizens is harder to analyze.
The easy part is the numbers. Everyone who will be 65 anytime soon has already been born. Foreign immigrants to the United States are mostly young, so building a wall won’t have much impact on the senior population. Mortality rates influence the projections, but the biggest surprises in recent years have been people 25 through 44.
(Recent data did show an increase in the death rate among 85 and older people. However, that group is pretty diverse, with the greatest increases in the very old, 96 years and older, with fewer people in the 85-88 category. The increased mortality was not a surprise when the older population is tabulated in one-year increments rather than lumped all together.)