Report: The graying of society may cause full-blown crisis

by Staff | November 2nd, 2011

According to The Washington Post, the aging of the human race has been faster than anyone could have imagined. As fertility rates have plunged globally, life spans have increased, re-contouring the age graph, which once had a tiny number of old folks at the peak of the pyramid. These old folks are now fast becoming the broad foundation of the pyramid graph. In many respects, this is good news: longer life spans and improvements in modern medicine and nutrition.

But unexpectedly, this abrupt demographic transition has created economic upheaval. The world needs more workers to provide goods and services to huge numbers of pensioners.

Luckily, in the United States, with fertility rate just slightly below replacement level and immigration boosting the work force, we have a higher rate than many countries. But the baby-boom generation is storming the higher age brackets: the number of Americans 60 to 64 jumped from 11 million to 17 million in the most recent census. In 1935 when Social Security was established, life expectancy was just under 62. Today, it is 78 and rising.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of workers will steadily and dramatically decrease in relation to retirees. The ratio of working-age people to retirement-age people will go from about 5-to-1 to 3-to-1 in the next two decades.

“It’s a big, big social change. Lots of thing are going to be disrupted,” said Ted C. Fishman, author of Shock of Gray.

Read more.

How do you think this graying of society is affecting the Social Security program?

If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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