Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

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Longevity Opens New World

The current senior mantra is “Things Will Never Be the Same” because of the changes wrought by the COVID-19 plethora of political proclamations designed to protect us from ourselves. But a deeper and more profound change was already under way before the pandemic encircled the globe.

The population is getting older. By 2030, the senior population around the world is expected to top 1.5 billion from the current 900 million. China’s over-65 phalanx that accounts for less than 10 percent of its population now is predicted to account for a quarter of its population in just three decades. By the end of this decade, more than 20 percent of the North American population will be 65 years or older. By 2060, one out four people will be in that age bracket.

This phenomenon is occurring for a few reasons. One is the graying of the post-World War II baby boomers, the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964. Added to that is the fact that we’re living longer while the birth rate is diminishing. The 1950 U.S birth rate was 25 per 1,000 people compared with 12 per 1,000 last year.

By the beginning of the 2030s, workers will account for only 30 percent of the population. This shrinking workforce means a shrinking source of payroll taxes to finance Social Security and Medicare benefits for the aging population that no longer will be working. Counterbalancing this trend are recent reports that three-quarters of the current labor force plan to keep working past the age of 65. But pundits still predict Social Security benefits will have to be cut by at least 20 percent by the mid-2030s.

All of this movement not only affects financial-support programs, it puts a strain on the health-care industry, which already is looking at a shortage of more than 120,000 doctors and some 100,000 nurseds assistants and other medical aides over the next 10 years.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 4, 2023 at 2:00 am

Posted in Aging, Health

Tagged with ,

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