Work Longer, Live Longer?

There has never been a time in recorded human history when we as a species have lived for so long. Rapid advances in medical technology have allowed us to conquer certain diseases, while effectively keeping others at bay. That means human beings now commonly live into their 80s and sometimes even their 90s and beyond.

While this is certainly good, it is leading to a disproportionately old population. People are also tending to have fewer children, so the older members of our society are gradually outnumbering the younger. As the elderly require some form of medical attention in the vast majority of cases, this puts a disproportionate strain on national and provincial economies and health services.

We are also now seeing other societal shifts. While it was common for people to retire by age 65, the chances are this number will rise as people are able to be healthier and live longer. Also, as governments find themselves increasingly unable to shoulder the bill for Senior care, some people in their late 60s and early 70s will need to continue to work solely in order to support themselves and keep a roof over their heads.

While this sounds distressing, in some ways it might not be a bad thing. Studies have shown that older people remain more vital, additionally mobile, and healthier overall if they keep busy. While certain degenerative health and mental conditions can preclude such a notion, it really would be better for a large proportion of the elderly population to work longer than age 65. It would also be more beneficial for the economy and the country’s financial stability as a whole.

As more and more data comes in from countries around the world, it is clear that the notion of retiring by a certain age may no longer be feasible.

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