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By 2050, 20 percent of Americans will be 65 or older

The number of Americans who are 65 years old or older has been climbing for decades, and it is predicted to keep doing so. Some believe that by 2050, one out of every five people in the country will be at least 65.

As noted, that's part of a larger trend. In 1950, the 65-year-olds' total sat at just 8 percent. Remember, that's just five years after World War II, which tragically took many young lives, and the percentage was still that low. By 2000, it had risen to 12 percent.

That's just a 4 percent increase in 50 years, and the projection to 20 percent in 2050 would be an 8 percent increase. That shows that those making these predictions are very confident in modern advancements that keep people alive longer.

Another way of looking at it is this: Most people who were born in 1900 never even lived to see their 51st birthdays. These days, the life expectancy for men in the United States is 76.4 and the life expectancy for women is 81.2. That type of increase backs up these predictions about an increase in the aging population.

Unfortunately, as people live longer, that also means that more and more people need long-term care. Health issues that were once fatal may now be survivable, but that does not mean people have entirely overcome those issues.

That's why it is so important for people to consider long-term care planning. They need to know all of their options to prepare for this future, no matter what it may hold.

Source: USC, "Americans Are Living Longer," accessed May 25, 2018

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