Colorado facing tidal wave of senior citizens

Dec 13, 2016

Colorado is in for a massive demographic shift over the next decade.
Credit Colorado Department of Local Affairs

To get ahead of Colorado’s aging population, the state of Colorado just released an action plan that lays out a vision for handling the state’s graying demographic through 2030.

The study, developed by the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA) formed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and the state’s general assembly last year, found that the population of Coloradans aged 65 and over is projected to grow by a staggering 508,000 by 2030, an increase of 68 percent.

As the Denver Post reports, over the next 14 years, the state’s aging population will impact “virtually every Coloradan,” in one respect or another.

One impact the planning group is particularly concerned about is the state budget, due to the slowdown in revenue growth that is expected with a shrinking workforce along with health care costs and senior services that are expected to skyrocket over that same time period.

The report also includes the following rather alarming statistics:

  • The growth rate in sales taxes is expected to drop by 0.3 percent and the growth rate in income taxes is expected to drop by 0.2 percent, as seniors leave the workforce.
  • Many Colorado seniors, between 4.7 and 10.7 percent of the population, will qualify for property tax breaks, which will decrease local revenues. 
  • Seniors’ family members are expected to incur $6.6 billion losses in wages, benefits and other expenses each year through 2030, as they take time to care for their aging parents, almost double what it was in 2015.

Other aspects of the report, as reported by the Denver Post, include transportation planning, workforce training and improvement of consumer protections for seniors, by implementing programs like Senior$afe, which is designed to educate seniors, their families and financial professionals about ways to safeguard against scam artists and frauds.

The report also is asking lawmakers to tally what the state is currently spending on age-related programs, the Denver Post reports.