Why Living Longer Will Hurt the Economy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Everyone wants to live into a very long and healthy retirement. It is human nature to protect ourselves and do everything possible to stay alive.

In a recent interview on TechCrunch, futurist Sonia Arrison claims that our medical engineering capabilities will allow people to soon live well past the century mark and even up to 150.

While it may seem like a good idea on the surface, there are hidden pitfalls to keeping yourself around for so many years.

  • Social Security

    The current Social Security system we have set up as a government security blanket will soon hit financial trouble because of the amount of Baby Boomers set to retire in the coming years. If more people reach the age and milk the system for a longer time we will have to either raise taxes, reduce benefits, or cut out the system all together. What was set up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a safety net is now a burden we have become entitled to.

  • Senility

    When you start to get older, the basic functions of the body start to wither and fade. What you could once see ten years ago becomes a blurry mess. Your hearing starts to go away and you are less likely to be mobile without some assistance. Just imagine trying to find a phone number or hear a ringtone on your smartphone when you need someone to help with something.

  • Health Care

    Because of the advances in health care for those of old age, they are able to stick around for longer. It will also mean that the cost of getting the health care will skyrocket. Hospitals and health facilities are some of the largest employers in the country because of the increased amount of care needed by an aging population. Every year you get older, there is a better chance that more can go wrong.

  • Lack of Jobs for the Young

    With more people growing old, they are insisting to stay in the job market. This is good because it brings a lot of experience and wisdom to a company. It is also a bad thing because it sacrifices the youth’s opportunity to gain the same experience and wisdom. After young people do find jobs, they have to pay into social security and Medicare accounts that they may never see.

In a Nutshell
While it is a good thing that people will get to live longer, there needs to be better financial planning in place to afford it. We must be willing to make a lot of sacrifices and give up what we believed was once an entitlement, but is now really only a luxury.

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