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Baby boomers start turning 65 in 2011

The baby boomers, the generation that started in 1946 with the end of World War II and ended in 1964 with the birth control pill, are hitting retirement age.

77,000,000

That's how many boomers there are — more than a quarter of the U.S. population. On Jan. 1, boomers began turning 65. Between 7,000 and 10,000 of them will celebrate that birthday each day for the next 18 years.

4,600,000

That's how many boomers call Florida home, the fourth most in the nation. It's also the home of the woman widely recognized as the first boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born Jan. 1, 1946. She lives in Vero Beach.

Here is a by-the-numbers look at this generation.

Health

Boomers care deeply about their health.

84 percent of people turning 65 this year plan to start taking better care of their physical health, an AARP poll found.

35 percent consider this their top life-change priority.

31 percent say their physical health is worse than they thought it would be.

Their health expenses will be enormous.

• 13.5 million people will have Alzheimer's disease by 2050 unless a cure is found, and annual care will cost $1 trillion.

• 2.8 million will qualify for Medicare this year, a record that will hit 4.2 million by 2030.

• 80 million Americans will be on Medicare by 2030, compared with 47 million today.

• $929 billion: Annual cost of Medicare by 2020, an 80 percent increase.

Social Security

3 percent: Annual increase in number of Social Security beneficiaries.

Less than 1 percent: Annual increase in number of workers paying into the system.

Work and money

13 percent of those turning 65 this year plan to retire completely in 2011.

24 percent don't know when they'll quit working.

Nearly half of boomers ages 56 to 62 may not have enough savings to cover basic expenses.

Two-thirds of boomers will get an inheritance from their parents. The median amount will be $64,000, but recent hard times likely will cost boomers about 13 percent of their inheritance.

$60,000: Mean financial assets of boomers.

Leisure

36 percent of Internet users are boomers, the fastest-growing age group using social media.

Nearly one-fourth of the membership of USA Triathlon and USA Cycling is boomers.

7,500: Number of boomers expected to run the Boston Marathon this year.

Florida numbers

• 2.2 million: Boomer men in Florida.

• 2.4 million: Boomer women in the state.

• 28-30 percent of Pinellas County residents are boomers, the highest concentration in the Tampa Bay area.

• 27 percent of Floridians will be over age 65 by 2030, a 9-point increase over today.

Sources: AARP, Alzheimer's Association, USA Today, U.S. Census Bureau, ProximityOne state demographic projections, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Employee Benefit Research Institute, CBS News, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Boston College Center for Retirement Research, AgeWave consulting firm.

Baby boomers start turning 65 in 2011 01/23/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 7:28am]
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