Michigan is aging. Its senior population ballooned to 16.2% in 2016. It experienced an increase of a surprising nine percentage points since the 1950s. In Macomb, a county close to Metro Detroit, about 22% of its residents from 2012 to 2016 were 60 years old and above.
A Purdue University study, meanwhile, revealed that the group would further grow in the coming years. By 2030, the average age will go up by five years. The number of 65-year-olds will also double. What does a fast-aging population mean for that state?
1. Aging in Place
The growth of the older population in Michigan is due to many factors. One of these is migration. While the young ones prefer to work outside the state, the older individuals choose to age in place.
This movement is not new or even rare in the state. A 2014 AARP survey cited how 87% of older adults want to remain in their community or home. For Michigan, though, it creates a series of challenges:
- It needs to have enough services and programs to meet the needs of such a group.
- The United States is facing a shortage of caregivers and other healthcare professionals.
- Even if services are available, aging in place can be a problem for non-drivers.
One of the possible solutions is the accessibility of senior home healthcare services in Richmond. Professional caregivers can provide essential types of care. These can include transportation, doctor’s appointments, and nutrition programs. The personalized plans can complement or augment the existing government schemes.
Like other states, Michigan depends on its taxes to provide essential services. The state, however, also extends tax breaks, especially to seniors since they are more likely to have lower wages. The benefits are generous:
- $2,900 personal deduction for those 65 years old and above
- $1,900 additional exemption in the state income tax return
- Homestead property tax credit
- Tax exemptions during financial hardship
- Tax deferments
- Tax credits
The growing number of seniors can then mean lower tax collections for the state. Since Michigan has one of the fastest ages in the nation, it can experience a significant tax revenue loss earlier than expected. It might not have sufficient funds to extend or create more senior-friendly programs.
On the upside, the labor-force participation for 55 years old and above in Michigan followed an upward trend, according to the 2017 data from Institute for Public Policy and Social Research of Michigan State University (MSU). This is despite the fact the workforce participation for prime-aged men and women was on a decline.
In other words, despite their older age, baby boomers prefer to keep their jobs. If not, they search for part-time work. In turn, they’re still able to contribute to the state’s economy. They can also help prevent a widening labor gap, which can lead to an increase in business costs.
Experts believe that more Americans will live longer, which also means that there will be more seniors in the future. There’s no better time for Michigan and its residents to prepare for it than today. It begins by having foresight on its implications.