With new medical technology and improved knowledge about health and wellness, American’s life expectancy is longer than ever, with a better expected quality of life as well. Wyoming is the fastest aging state in the country according to the Billing’s Gazette. In addition to an already aging state, Wyoming has been named by national publications as a top place of retirement due to its tax structure and climate. In an article from the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, it is predicted that by the year 2020 Wyoming will have the highest percentage of residents over the age of 65. With the rapidly rising elderly population, Wyoming faces many challenges and difficulties in its future.
One of the most apparent challenges Wyoming faces will be the additional costs and economic effects brought on by the baby-boomer generation. During an average person’s lifespan, they tend to borrow money when they are younger, as they begin to start their own lives and jobs. Once they are more economically independent, around middle-age, they begin to pay off their debts and save for retirement. Wyoming’s concerns rise when retirees begin to sell their assets and dig into their savings to finance their retirement. What worries economists is the negative impact on the economy that a loss in overall savings may have. James Poterba, an economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also worries about the housing market. The baby-boomer generation has bought houses as investments towards retirement. If they all try to sell at the same time, Poterba worries about a possible slide in the housing market (Economist, 04).
Another concern to Wyoming is Medicare costs...
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... older. That number is predicted to increase to 20% in a little over a decade. Wyoming faces many challenges ahead concerning its aging population. Top issue to the state will be increased Medicare expenses, economic effects of the baby-boomers savings and spending, and the question as to who will replace the older generation in Wyoming as younger generations move out of state. It is up to Wyoming to start preparing right now. The state must prepare for these costs and also try to focus on how to gain benefits from an aging statewide population.
A Future Meltodwn? Economist, Vol.372 Issue 8391, p72-72. Retrieved March 26,2006, from EBSCO Host Database
Inman, K. & Mcleod, D.M. (2002). Property Rights and Public Interests: A Wyoming Agricultural Lands Study. Growth and Change, p323-336. Retrieved March 26,2006, from EBSCO Host Database
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