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Cities must plan now for senior housing needs

Original post made by Renee Batti, news editor of The Almanac, on Jan 18, 2007

The following letter was published in the Almanac's Jan. 17 edition:

Editor:
It may or may not come as news, but the big work force of the future will be retired baby boomers.
Many of us will work far into those years when we thought we'd be living a life of leisure and comfort. Some of us will choose to work in new fields, stay in our current jobs or volunteer for nonprofits. For many of us, our lives will likely outlive our savings, and we will continue down the path of a nation of many poor seniors.
As we baby boomers begin to retire, we will swamp all existing services and redefine the word "retirement." Those lucky enough to retire in comfort will have many options for housing, medical care and life style. Sadly, for far too many boomers, life will not be so kind.
In an area as expensive to live as the Bay Area, it is time that our cities, counties, nonprofits and employers work jointly to create the affordable senior housing that will be so desperately needed in just a few short years. Affordable housing is one part of an equation to a healthy and vibrant senior work force, one that benefits the community as a whole.
Cities like Palo Alto have begun to deal with the bulging
retirement population. When will others step up to the plate?
It is in everyone's best interests to plan now for this huge housing need that we know is coming.
Elizabeth Lasensky
Fremont Street, Menlo Park

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