Baby Boomer Homelessness In America

Now it is official! I am a You Tuber. The following video and transcription is doing well, this week. 

It’s interesting to note the difficulty in knowing what video will do well and which will not. This week after doing this video, which I felt was probably going to be a dud, I decided to tell stories. 

Because the subject matter is about homelessness in my generation of Baby Boomers, many came by to give their perspective on their own experience of homelessness. It opened a can of worms, so to speak, on the lack of community in American society. 

Is it possible to go back to the commune days? That’s for another video.


Even though the boomers are the wealthiest population segment in American society, an increase in the amount of homeless Boomers on the horizon and in present time is alarming.

I read these statistics in the Wall Street Journal. I believe it is important to face the realities instead of denying them.

The majority of Boomer wealth is held in real estate. These are the boomers that were born between 1946 and 1954. They own more property than the younger Boomers before me born between 1955-1964, who are struggling with homelessness as well. This is how the boomers are exacerbating the home shortage problem which in turn overwhelms local economies. 

As more of us age, more and more are finding an inability to afford taxes, insurance or general upkeep of our homes. 80% of older boomers, now mostly in their 70s, are homeowners. They were able to buy their homes when these homes were minimally priced. These homes are now paid off and older Boomers have chosen to age in place. 

They feel connection to the community where they live, but unfortunately, they feel that they are stuck with the homes that they have. If they wanted to buy another home, the cost would be out of reach.

Boomers are hanging onto their homes, which is contributing to the housing shortage we now see. It also contributes to rising home costs because it’s almost impossible to buy a home now. 

The millennials are at a prime home buying stage of their lives. They can’t afford to buy a home. That’s why millennials are furious at the boomers.

Fun fact – if you own a home in California, the property taxes will not go up. 

There is a small home movement, as you may know, and these homes are absolutely gorgeous. But you really have to downsize if you want to move into one. You certainly don’t want to rent storage units to put all of your possessions in.

A university of San Francisco study shows that over 40% of the homeless older adults in California are homeless for the first time after the age of 50. This could’ve been caused by a major health crisis or the loss of a spouse or loved one. We need a universal healthcare system to create a federal safety net for our older folks.

There are a lot of people who worked and didn’t contribute to Social Security such as restaurant workers, low skilled workers, migrant workers, construction workers who work in demolition. They could be eligible for supplemental security income, which comes to about $1000 a month, according to the article.

Homes at the very bottom of the housing market have been affected by the nationwide housing shortage. The supply of these marginal but available housing options shrinks in the context of a very real hot real estate market. 

The prices have gone up on properties that serve low income people such as hotels, etc. Now people want to sell to convert and knock down these properties and build new buildings. The assisted-living properties which were never built in adequate numbers to handle the large boomer population, have also been closing amid staffing shortages and financial troubles.

Academic researchers have attributed the different economic prospects of the older and younger boomers to something called the cohort effect. This is the idea that people born in the same period share unique experiences as they move across time. The older boomers in particular were coming of age into a prosperous economy. For decades thereafter interest rates fell, and that meant even though they were entering into homeownership at a time when rates were high, they were able to refinance time after time.

The second half of the boomer generation defined as born between 1955 to 1965, experienced back to back recessions, and faced a crowded housing market. Prices were escalating and young adults in particular faced challenges of gaining entry into the labor market. Jobs were rare at that time.

Over the next 10 years researchers are counting on what they call a silver tsunami, a huge wave of housing inventory from boomers aging out of their homes. They say this would free up housing for younger families but other housing expert say that that’s unlikely to happen. 

We will not see a silver tsunami, they say. We will see a trickle, but according to the experts, there will be a tsunami that happens all at once and unexpectedly. By 2030 all boomers will have reached traditional retirement age which researchers expect will only increase the pressure on healthcare facilities, shelters and retirement homes. 

A nursing home crisis will arise in the United States. We need a federal safety net for the homeless and for people who are struggling to live. The Biden administration budget has put $3 billion to address the elderly homelessness problem. This bill is not likely to pass this year. We’ve never seen a federal proposal of any kind to aid in homelessness in the elderly population. So that’s a conversation that’s happening.

We do not have communities that care for one another. We should go back to the Commune days of the 1960s and 70s, where people shared everything as they lived together. The nuclear family model has not worked.

We live in an age where the elderly aren’t given the sanctity and sacredness of life they deserve.

You can’t blame everything on the housing crisis. A major contributing factor is the lack of respect for the elderly in this country. 

This is when I introduce The Iceberg Effect.

Meet Kate and Dean Holland



18 thoughts on “Baby Boomer Homelessness In America”

  1. Hello Kate,
    I understand your sentiment when you express the desire to return to the communal living of the 1960s and 70s, where people shared everything. Those were truly beautiful years, and I miss them as well. Wishing you all the best on your journey.

  2. Kate, you bring up a number of really important points. I am lucky to live in California, but in many states, people will lose their homes as more expensive homes get sold and tax prices increase to match houses similar in the neighborhood, forcing people to leave their homes due to the tax increases. I read on someone’s social media that they were for no more property taxes after retirement – and I love it. I would totally vote for that!!!

    1. I would vote for that, too! However, property taxes pays for the education of our children and we are a large cohort who wouldn’t be paying for that education!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. Hi Kate,
    In Australia we don’t have the same taxes on housing but there is a land tax that doesn’t affect everyone. The government is contemplating a new tax for anyone that owns a holiday house and it will be around two hundred dollars a year.
    In Australia we are allowed to put a small dwelling in our backyard called a granny flat so that an elderly parent or grandparent can live with your family but still have there own independence. This dwelling usually does not require a council permit.
    Also there has been several companies here that have sold their retirement villages leaving the elderly residents to search for new premises due to the fact that the new owners want to demolish to make way for a new building or development.
    Our government is now considering demolishing many high rise towers that have housed immigrants and low income families and pensioners for decades who won’t be able to afford to enter the normal rental market in Melbourne.
    The world is going crazy!
    As depressing as the content of your blog was it still made for an interesting read.

  4. I’m face with same problem here in Canada. You have to keep you property otherwise you will not be able to buy another one, or it simply don’t worth it. In my case we sold our house recently. We bought another one more expensive indeed but we managed to take stepmother, our boomer with us. She was living alone in a small apartment so now she’s with us and we can split the cost of the property. Also, she do almost all the meals! 😁 Thanks for this very interesting post which doesn’t miss of course to touch one the most actual sensitive pain point we all have in today’s economy.

  5. Hi, Kate!
    Your blog touches on so many conversations that are important to have.

    Most people don’t think they’ll ever have to face homelessness, and then it happens.

    My husband and I will take care of our family, but we don’t have children. This is why I’m looking into affiliate marketing. We have to do something more to prepare for our future.

    I hope you have a marvelous week! Enjoy the transition from spring to summer!

  6. Hi Kate,

    Homelessness is becoming increasingly common worldwide as the cost of living continues to rise. It’s a very frightening situation. If expenses keep climbing at this rate, I don’t know what we’ll do. It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you, but it certainly can if things don’t improve and you’re not careful.


  7. Thank you for shedding light on such a pressing issue, Kate. Your insights into the struggles of American baby boomers facing homelessness highlight the deep-seated challenges within Western society, particularly in the USA. The statistics and personal stories you shared are truly eye-opening, revealing how health crises, the loss of loved ones, and economic disparities can lead to such dire circumstances. It’s a stark reminder of the need for a stronger social safety net and more compassionate community support (though I can’t say I share your desire to return to commune life, I have done that and it has its dark side!).

    I have also faced homelessness with a young family, and was very grateful to the UK welfare system that found us first temporary, and then permanent accommodation, one thing I learnt through that was how difficult it was for less articulate people to access the system and how important it is to have those that can act as an advocate, Once again thanks for a thought provoking post

  8. A very interesting read about a subject I had little idea about. So, if it understand correctly, you actually pay a tax for the privilege of living in a house that you own. Amazing! I guess we have a similar thing in Australia called stamp duty (a tax by any other name) that we have to pay on first buying a property. However, it is a one-off payment. Thank you for shining a spotlight on the boomer homelessness issue.

  9. Kate, Congratulations, on your amazing success on YouTube! Your hard work and dedication are truly inspiring. It’s fantastic to see you gaining the recognition you deserve. Keep up the great work and continue to shine! Looking forward to seeing more of your content. Atif

  10. There’s a whole lot there to talk about, I can definitely understand why this would be getting views on YouTube. I suppose all these means we need to do what we can to take care of ourselves and our families – AND we need to be looking out for other people, because there are a lot of people who need help.

  11. Kate, you’re doing so well. You should be tremendously proud of the valuable content you provide on your blog and on YouTube. I, too, am a baby boomer…barely. I cannot afford to buy a home, although when I was younger, I did own two homes, which were taken from me in my divorce. Right now, I live paycheck to paycheck, and although I hope it never happens, I could become homeless if I lost my job. It’s so scary to think that a lot of homeless people today were hard-working adults when tragedy struck, and they were forced out of their homes because they could no longer pay the rent or mortgage. It’s unbelievably scary to think about. This is one reason why I feel lucky to have found Dean because I feel that he is my ticket to sustaining and even upgrading my livelihood. Thank you for such a great post this week.

  12. Sarah Goulding

    Thank you for sharing this. I find myself every week searching for your blog to see what delights I can learn about this week. It’s alarming to see the increasing number of Boomers facing homelessness despite their generation’s overall wealth. It’s a troubling picture. Your call for stronger community support and federal safety nets is crucial, I’m not up to date on the state of England and the situation over here but maybe I should! Your blogs are certainly bringing attention to the aging population and is making me conscious to my own actions and how I talk to my own grandparents!
    Sarah Goulding recently posted…What Happens When You Say Yes More?My Profile

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