Increased Worldwide Longevity To Alter Retirement

The advances in medicine allow us to live longer. And the new life extension therapies based on genetic engineering, stem cells, replacement organ implants and nanotechnologies will increase the life expectation of our generation far beyond anything possible in the past.

There are already many experts claiming that an individual born today might reach the venerable age of 1000. In our days increased longevity is achieved not only in developed countries such as the U.S., but also across the globe. This trend will drive tremendous changes in retirement, economy, workplace, social norms and more. Longevity brings opportunities but challenges as well.

Leading experts on global retirement, such as the executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, Mike Hodin, offered some insight on the deep structural changes expected to lead to a retirement crisis.

People are living longer today and the scale of the transformation is huge. According to Mike Hodin, this can be considered as a mega trend larger than anything that exists today. The expert expects tremendous economic, sociological and historic changes that we, as a society never seen before. He compares the scale of this shift to the industrial revolution or the advent of the women’s movement. We can expect this historic sift to be profoundly disruptive on multiple plans.

According to Hodin, this change is already taking place and the trend is going on through the 21st century. This cannot be considered to be connected only to the baby boomer phenomenon but it is much larger in implications. With the advances in medicine and science, today hundred-year life spans are something very common. Such kind of worldwide longevity in general masses of population has been never experienced before in human history. In the past, there were certain individuals able to attain a respectable age, but this was the exceptions rather than the rule.

We are also seeing very low birth rates everywhere in the world, at the same time with a generalized increased longevity. This is a consequence of societies urbanizing and modernizing. This is happening even across emerging markets in Latin America, Asia and Africa. However, in the most developed countries, the trend is stronger. In Japan, for instance, it is estimated that by the year 2020, more than one-third of population will be over 60. At this high percent of elders, the social systems put in place in Japan after WWII, like health care, retirement and pension, will no longer work.

The U.S. experience a similar situation to Japan and other developed European countries. As a great beneficiary of longevity, the U.S. is on the top of the list when it comes to healthy aging. The current birthrate in the U.S., of about 2.1, is more than in countries like the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Australia or Japan, which are all under 1.5.

The U.S. is a healthier economic place that allows managing a bit easier this transition process. Even being in a better position, this does not make the United States immune to challenges. There is still a need to better prepare for this transformation. Since most of the modern institutions and public policies in place today were invented during the 20th century, they need to be adapted to the new challenges. For programs such as Medicare or Social Security the arithmetic already doesn’t work anymore.

Source: iTech Post

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

A Bipartisan Bill Could Prevent The Next Pandemic

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats are typically at loggerheads when it comes to healthcare policy. Just consider the recent Inflation Reduction Act, which made extensive changes to Medicare and also extended Affordable Care Act subsidies. Every single congressional Democrat voted for the legislation, while every single member of the GOP voted against it. But occasionally, a bill is such an obviously good idea, and so desperately needed, that it commands significant bipartisan support. The PASTEUR Act, co-sponsored by 31 Democrats and 31 Republicans in the House and two members of each party in the Senate, is just such a bill.

Korea Must Act Now to Combat Growing AMR Threat

Public officials are overlooking one of the gravest long-term threats to the Korean people, the health system, and economy: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Some pathogens ― bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses ― have evolved strains that resist the antimicrobial medications we currently have available to fight them. Health care professionals often must watch helplessly as patients succumb to infections that antibiotics could once have easily beaten. They know that new antimicrobials, including and especially antibiotics, could easily gain the victory ― but they have none at their disposal.

Policy Statement on the Impact of Price Negotiations on Innovation, Healthy Aging and Equity

As the CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and a newly formed cross-sector Alliance for Health Innovation, we write to express our deep concern with the current legislation that allows for price “negotiations” in Medicare – a thinly veiled signal for America’s plunge into price controls that will have a devastating and adverse impact on biopharmaceutical innovation and our nations’ ability to support healthy aging. 

Ignoring the ‘Silver Economy’ May Be Getting Costly for Brands

In an ad for Airbnb that premiered earlier this year, a couple checks into a cozy Spanish villa. To the tune of Jay-Z's cover of "Me and My Girlfriend," the ad shows the pair settling into their rental and setting their collective dial to chill. They play ping-pong, sip some wine, and get ready for a night on the town. They're also in their 80s, celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. In no way does the ad characterize the couple as elderly or portray them as needing special aid or services — they are just active people who happen to be old. It's a rare example of ads featuring a realistic depiction of aging.

Health Equity Promise and That Innovation Thing

President Biden has pledged his administration to defeat cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that target America’s aging population. To achieve these lofty goals, bold words must be backed up by bold actions.

Roundtable Report Highlights Importance of Immunizing Canada’s Caregivers Against Influenza, Identifying Challenges and Opportunities to Protect This Critical Group

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a report summarizing key insights from an expert roundtable on vaccinating Canada’s caregivers against influenza. The roundtable, held virtually, brought together leading Canadian health policy experts, family caregivers, patient advocacy groups, aging experts, and other thought leaders to discuss challenges and strategies to reach this critically important yet hard-to-reach group.