Heading for retirement, some N.C. boomers are fat and flat broke

The generation known as baby boomers may go into old age broke and fat, researchers say.

Those among the first decade of boomers - now at retirement age or within 10 years of it - may find that a combination of unhealthy living and unwise personal finance decisions will leave them in rough shape after age 65.

They may not mind so much, however, because researchers say they'll also be more likely to be stoned on drugs than either their elders or younger people.

The state Division of Aging and Adult Services predicts that by 2030, more than 200,000 people 65 and older will live in Wake County alone, an increase of more than 250 percent over today.

State health statistics show that 55- to 64-year-old Tar Heels exercise less and have more strokes than younger groups. Also, with retirement around the corner, they are more likely than any other group to gamble once or more a week.

Still, the indicators aren't all bad.

North Carolina boomers smoke less than younger generations. And some are still trying to eat right: Seven out of 10 eat green salad at least once a week, the highest figure for any age group.

So what do national and local studies predict will become of that bold, experimental generation once stereotyped as wanting to die before they got old?

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