Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Senior Syphilis? Surprise, Retirees!

Video and article by Motley Fool, "4 Things That Will Surprise You About Retirement," by Dayana Yochim and Robert Brokamp, CFPApril 24, 2013, Copyright 2013, The Motley Fool. All rights reserved.

As a newly retired Baby Boomer I noticed an article with accompanying video at the Motley Fool site that talked about retirement surprises. Since I just turned 60 and retired, I was curious. I read the article and I was surprised! Here are the four items that Robert Brokamp, Certified Financial Planner with Motley Fool and formerly with Prudential Securities (according to his LinkedIn profile) has to say:

1) People get bored
2) There is tension between couples after retirement
3) Highest rate of STD growth is in the senior community
4) Retirees are carrying high debt in credit cards and home mortgages

I've been retired since the end of January 2013 and I have to say I've already experienced boredom at home and tension between my spouse and I. And I am not surprised by the high rate of debt being carried. Fortunately, we have planned for this day and are ready to buy a home for cash in a low cost of living area. We are looking at the Gulf Coast of Florida. We would not be able to live in the San Francisco Bay Area which has been our home for over 30 years without working for the rest of our lives.

The big surprise was the comment about senior syphilis. I had no idea that we Baby Boomers had this problem. Maybe I've been living under a rock. Not wanting to take for granted the expertise of a financial planner on STDs, I checked WebMD for senior syphilis. Here is a quote from the article: Sex and the Elderly: STD Risk Often Ignored:

"According the CDC [sic], close to 2,550 cases of syphilis were reported among adults between the ages of 45 and 65 in 2010 -- up from around 900 cases in 2000."

There is more to the article, but essentially, it appears to support the claim that STDs are a growing problem in the elderly population. They speculate that performance enhancing drugs may be a contributing factor--hmmm, you think?

I don't know if this constitutes an epidemic, but maybe our Hippie Boomer free love ways of the past are catching up with us. Well, I have to say that I'm glad I won't be out there looking for love in all the wrong places.  Maybe I should work harder on the tension thing between my spouse and I and make sure our retirement in our new affordable community is stress free, debt free, and STD free. As for boredom, I'll keep on writing and see how I do.


  1. The incidence of STDs among seniors is NOT the highest of any age group. According to CDC data, it is the LOWEST of all age groups over the age of 14. What CDC data reveal is that the incidence of STDs among seniors is increasing at a higher *rate* than other age groups because of unprotected sex. That is an important distinction. The number of STDs contracted by seniors was small to begin with, so even a small increase translates into a higher *rate* of increase. The WebMD artcle that is the source of this information is totally misleading and is a glaring example of why WebMD should never be consulted for health information. It is also a stark reminder to *confirm your sources* before publishing. Otherwise, you end up perpetuating nonsense like this.

  2. Thank you for the insight and comment. I appreciate your input.

  3. Alessa, as someone who has perpetuated good public health practices in the area of disaster preparedness, maybe you could be an ambassador for safer sex and preventing communicable sexual illnesses among retired individuals? As a public health expert, you could acquire new skills, like putting condoms on cucumbers while simultaneously narrating a Powerpoint Presentation?