Addressing The Silver Tsunami: Strategies for City Municipalities to Support Our Elders

Published by The Bee News

May 6, 2024

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To the Editor, 

The demographic shift known as the “Silver Tsunami” is upon us as the baby boomer generation heads into retirement. This shift is set to reshape Kingman significantly, with over half of the local population within a 20-mile radius already over 50. We are tasked with responding to the challenges and changes that will come as a significant segment of our community moves out of the workforce. 

These retirees will primarily rely on retirement savings and Medicaid, marking a profound shift in our city’s economic dynamics. With an estimated 10,000 Americans turning 80 every day from 2025 and the entire baby boomer cohort, some 73 million people, retired by 2030, the impact will be widespread. We must actively plan to support this demographic, addressing the escalating need for long-term care and the financial pressures on stretched resources. 

The case of Suzanne Arnold from Golden Valley, AZ., who had nearly $400 erroneously deducted from her Social Security for Medicare coverage she already possessed, is just one example of the broader financial difficulties facing our seniors. With the average social security check just over $1,700, the loss of a partner can halve a household’s income, leaving many to question the adequacy of their savings, especially as life expectancies rise and the risk of outliving retirement funds becomes a stark reality. 

Moreover, we face potential labor shortages and the problem of social isolation among seniors. The pressure on social security, Medicare, and healthcare services is mounting, and veterans, in particular, are facing homelessness and health challenges. 

As a community, Kingman must adopt a proactive approach to these issues. We need a renaissance of care and opportunity, ensuring our seniors, the bedrock of our society, can retire with dignity and security. Now is the time for Kingman to embrace decisive action, bolstering our community not only with necessary services but also by creating a place that welcomes new healthcare professionals and their families with quality education, shopping, and dining options. This is essential for our economic development and for providing the care our seniors deserve. It’s within this context that the “Arik for Action” campaign emerges, underscoring our unwavering commitment to a prosperous, inclusive future for Kingman—a city that respects its past and builds towards an even greater tomorrow.

 

Sincerely, 

Cengiz Arik 

Kingman City Council Member

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