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Where Thinking About the End is a Good Place to Begin

Facing scary stuff that's also inevitable tends to clarify the landscape for decision-making.
February 8, 2017, 7am PST | Hazel Borys
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"We’ve talked before about the geezer glut and the unkickable can of demography. What’s new is that the sense of urgency for taking inevitability under really serious consideration is escalating, along with the precision with which we can predict what’s coming. Take, for example, projections from the December, 2016 report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS):

"Over the next twenty years, the population aged 65 and over is expected to grow from 48 million to 79 million. Meanwhile, the number of households headed by someone in that age group will increase by 66 percent to almost 50 million—with the result that by 2035, an astounding one out of three American households will be headed by someone 65 or older."

"So far, our collective responses to stats like these have moved in unhelpful directions. Two obvious ones: the rapid expansion of an industry of aging denial selling products and processes to recapture youth; and panic attacks that threaten to metastasize into planning paralysis. Fortunately, there’s a silver lining in the 'silver tsunami.' Facing scary stuff that’s also inevitable tends to clarify the landscape for decision-making. (As Dr. Samuel Johnson noted back in the 18th century, 'When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.')"

Ben Brown drills down on key aging statistics, and what that means in challenges ahead for local and regional planning.

Image: Max Martin, Life of Pix

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Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in PlaceShakers
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