Role Of Aging In 21st Century America

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Aging in 21st Century America Rachel Salters Soc 304 Social Gerontology Professor Stephanie DeNapoli-Sencil November 9, 2012 Hopefully we will all be physically able to work until the age of 65, collect retirement and Social Security and live an enriching life until we leave this world. Not all companies financially support their employees with fully funded retirement plans so it is left up to the individual to actively participate in saving for their future. When someone reaches retirement age, if the finances are there, they are usually only a fraction of what they were making as a full-time employee. This is when one hopes of having Social Security and Medicare benefits to supplement our retirement income for a more stable financial…show more content…
Meeting the financial and social service burdens of growing numbers of elders will not be a daunting task once the real challenges of caring for the aging population are achieved (1) making sure society develops payment and insurance systems for long-term care that work better than existing ones, (2) taking advantage of advances in medicine and behavioral health to keep the elderly as healthy and active as possible, (3) changing the way society organizes community services so that care is more accessible, and (4) altering the cultural view of aging to make sure all ages are integrated into the fabric of community life. Programs that support the aging population are costly and usually require tax increases to continue funding which diminishes the standard of living for younger generations. According to the United States Census Bureau, the nation's 90-and-older population nearly tripled over the past three decades and is more likely to be women and to have higher widowhood, poverty and disability rates than people just under this age cutoff (Bernstein, 2011). They survived the Great Depression and World Wars and worked very hard. The National Council on Aging states that 14% of adults aged 65+ face retirements with negative net worth. These are suppose to be the golden years yet the current…show more content…
The number of people of working age in relation to retirees is known as the “dependency ratio”. As the baby boomers retire, a main concern is the decrease in the number of people working and paying taxes. An aging population means that the dependant to economically active ratio is very low. The results are public finance become stagnant and gaps in the jobs market, with businesses and public services lacking the workforce required. If we do nothing to the current configuration of our Social Security program, projections are showing that by the year 2035, the Trust Fund will only adequately support 75% of beneficiaries. (Goss, 2010) This is in large part due to the current generation of baby boomers who are living longer, more healthful and active lives. When they start collecting Social Security benefits, they will collect for more years than previous generations. Although Social Security benefits account for approximately 40% of prior earnings for an individual who has worked, this would be a substantial amount of earnings to lose. For the economy, the challenge is to generate growth and financial resources needed to meet age-related spending needs. Forcing people to save a proportion of their income has been suggested as a way of solving the pension/retirement crisis. The grounds for mandatory savings would be based on the following type of thinking: (a) people

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