Financial Literacy Month Fact: The grandparents are coming. The grandparents are coming.
By Dian Vujovich
In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a big surge in the number of grandparents roaming around America these days. And it’s not just Baby Boomer grandparents: People have been growing older and dying at a later age for years. So this long-life thing isn’t a short-term trend but a long-term reality that will impact everyone whether they become a grandparent or not.
My favorite commercial on TV these days is Prudential’s “Age Sticker” one.
The spot first aired during the Super Bowl. If you missed it then, as I did, in it Professor Daniel Gilbert asks a number of people how old the oldest person they know is. The answers given are put up on a huge board with blue dot stickers representing the oldest age answers given.
The board visual is spectacular because a vertical black line shows the age of 65 at the far left of it. Looking to the right, the bulk of the blue dots create a mountain chart with the most dots falling in the ages from the 70s to 80s and 90s.
If there’s the picture of one chart that ought to be seared in everyone’s brain it’s this one. Why? Because living costs lots of money and the longer one lives the more it costs. Costs that impact us on a variety of levels from those focused on the individual and their family as well as costs to society, the health care system, our government, etc., etc.
Back to my kind of Paul Revere ” The grandparents are coming” headline.
MetLife tackled the grandparent subject in July 2011 in a report titled, “American Grandparents; New Insights for a New Generation of Grandparents”.
From the report: “The numbers of grandparents are at record highs and still growing at more than twice the overall population growth rate. There were an estimated 65 million grandmothers and grandfathers in 2010. By 2020, they are projected to reach 80 million, at which time they will be nearly one-in-three adults.”
One in three. Hum, let’s see: If, for instance, it were 2020 today and our U.S. population stood at 300 million, 100 million of them would fall under the grandparent heading.
Numbers of that magnitude will change the complexion of our homes and the country. And in a society that today favors youth over aging, has little respect for wisdom or experience and values money over most everything else, you’d be wise to prepare for the coming grandparent evolution by being financially preparing for it.
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