Thinking of the future

It is rather unsurprising that free FutureCare has not worked out.  We simply don’t have the money for such an elaborate initiative.  Means tested is the way to go and it requires examination of not only cash but also equity.  In today’s Royal Gazette interesting comments were made about some of our seniors.

Claudette Flemming, Age Concern’s director, said: "It is a legitimate question, should those that can afford to pay for private care get FutureCare? But then the question is how do you determine who can afford it?"

With 25 percent of seniors living off $30,000 or less there are many incidents of seniors being land rich but cash poor, she said. (emphasis added)

Sorry, but land rich and cash poor?  Is Ms. Flemming implying that these individuals should or should not be eligible?  Quite unfortunately there are ‘land rich’ seniors out there who live in big multi bedroom homes alone.  Should government be stepping in to give them hand outs because they are ‘cash poor’ but happen to be sitting on a mountain of equity?  This while young Bermudians face greater taxation as debts are run up?  The same young Bermudians who struggle to afford even meager hopes of accommodation yet are preached to about how they’re unwilling to sacrifice?

Certainly there are alternatives such as selling their land/homes for more reasonable accommodations or taking out reverse mortgages such that they could tap into their equity and afford better care?  Certainly, seniors deserve good care.  However, what we risk is that Bermuda pumps so much money into flawed initiatives like ‘FutureCare’ that when today’s youth get into power and wake up to how much debt we have to cover, things will change very quickly.  Today’s leading generations are going wild on the spending, ratcheting up debt.  Who will pay off this debt?  If you’re senior now or are approaching that age perhaps it is time to start asking the questions of what happens when the younger generations get into power and how we’ll react when we realize that you’ve stuck us with this much debt?

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2 thoughts on “Thinking of the future

  1. How are we means testing? Based on income/net worth or based on health risk? Should a smoker be excluded but a non-smoker not?
    It’s an interesting topic. Politically it’s also not what was promised which was free health care for seniors. Sort of like the bus passes.
    But I guess this is what you get when you validate an incredibly un-serious election campaign.

  2. Sadly, this just smells of a Govt trying to do something that is right in principle, but (as always) not thought through in sufficient detail.
    I cannot believe – at this stage – that they are having the issues they are having. Incredible.
    I also have to presume in the light of this, that they have totally ignored their own Statistics Dept when looking at the future.
    One of the difficulties here, as in much of the world, is that whilst the number of taxpayers diminishes, the number of none taxpayers increases. The Government’s measure of this is called the Dependency Ratio.
    Looking at those numbers shows that it goes out of whack. The Old Age Dependency Ratio for 2000 was 19.2%. The view for 2030 is that it will rise to 44.8%.
    Breaking that down a little further, the Black Bermudian Ratio of 16.9% in 2000 will increase to 44.5% by 2030; a move described in the Report as ‘soaring’.
    Where do they think the money is going to come from – now and in the future?
    A classic case of opening mouth before engaging brain.

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