How your old age will look in America - ForumDaily
The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
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How will your old age look in America

The issue of population aging in developed countries is usually perceived as a problem. But are there any advantages to such a trend? And how is the life of those who are young and full of energy now and are going to meet old age in America?


What will a society look like in which the average life expectancy of 100 years, and the number of people older than 65, exceeds the number of children under the age of 15? This is not an exercise in the field of science fiction, but a very real task, over which politicians, economists, doctors, marketers, cultural figures and others fight in the USA.

The average life expectancy of an American is 86,6 years, and the age at which she can retire is 62. For men, these numbers are not very different. (A slight decrease in life expectancy for a certain category of the population does not change the general trend). And if the first digit rises to 100 - in reality, what advances us in medicine convince us, first of all, better diagnostics, drugs, vaccines and a revolution in surgery - something needs to be done with the second digit.

Attempting an honest conversation on this topic, I believe, cost the elections a promising politician. Marco Rubio at the debates during the party elections-2016 proposed raising the retirement age by two years for those who are now 30-40 years old, and lost the primaries in his native Florida next day.

But it is obvious that 35-40 has been working for years, and then the same amount - playing golf, fishing and frying hot dogs - is impossible. At least massively, the Americans will not have enough either a state pension or their own savings.

And most do not want. Still, 40 years of fishing can get bored, especially after a tense but interesting career. Already today at the age of 65-79 years 23% of Americans and 5% of those who work for 80 work.

"The elderly gentleman is looking for .... work"

Three quarters of Americans older than 60 have said in the survey of insurance company Eigon that they want to work, mostly due to other non-financial reasons, but only a quarter of them have programs at work that help them realize themselves in the new role writing a magazine "Time" in a special roomdedicated to the phenomenon of growth of life expectancy.

Physically and mentally healthier than their parents at this age, older Americans are looking for not so much recognition and financial success as opportunities to contribute to the improvement of the world, leave behind a legacy, but at the same time have a flexible work schedule and less physical activity . They "scrambled" to the very top of Maslow's pyramid and demand to satisfy their new needs.

Фото: Depositphotos

Individual consulting companies and financial institutions in the United States help companies and private clients adapt to changing demographics. Workers are encouraged to find an “anchor career” or “second act” and advise Americans already at the age of 40-50 to think about who they want to be “when they grow up”.

This could be part-time teaching, volunteer work, which older people in the United States actively engage in, or, for example, consulting for a lawyer - instead of litigating cases in the courts. Retirement, experts say, will not be one step, but a long process that can drag on for years and decades and often include obtaining a second education or living abroad - just as young people do now after school.

From the objective need for employers to create working conditions that will help postpone retirement, other categories of workers also benefit. The ability, for example, to work 4 every day will benefit everyone — someone to reduce the workload and have a day to visit doctors, and someone else to prepare for a marathon, run their business or devote more time to children and home.

One of the ways not to depend on the will of the employer is to have your own business.

According to the Kaufman Foundation, in every 2011 year, every fifth entrepreneur was 55-64 years old, and half of them were more than 45.

If you start a business in 55, then after 10 years, if it goes well, you can decide for yourself how much to work and what functions to perform. (This and some other data presented in this article are from the collection “The Benefits of Aging. How a Long Life Changes the World of Medicine, Work, Innovation” edited by Paul Irving).

Population aging is a godsend for business

Experts urge to consider the aging of the population not as an economic burden, but as excellent business opportunities. Ergonomic chairs? Orthopedic sports shoes? Non-slip surfaces for bathrooms and showers? Smartphones with big buttons? Thin soulful film about the complexity of a mature marriage and the problems of adult children? Escort service: "A gray-haired gentleman comes with you to the philharmonic society, to the exhibition and walk along the embankment"? In 2017, half the population of the United States will be people older than 50, who will control 70% of total private consumption. Everything that helps older people lead an active and productive life is doomed to commercial success.

And the American business is listening. Much of the news channel advertising is aimed at people older than 60. They attract attractive, well-groomed men and women, setting new standards for mature beauty. Television series on the depth and quality already bypass the movies coming out in the box office.

New areas in cities are planned based on the fact that there was no need to use the machine. From such a “European”, as it is called here, the models are ecstatic and ecologists, and young people, and elderly people, who do not become dependent on their relatives and guardians, after they take the car keys away from them.

In Washington, by the way, special free classes are offered, in which local older people are taught how to use the subway. After all, they traveled all their lives mainly by car.

In new homes, you hardly see the door handles that need to be rotated, which is difficult for people with arthritis. Instead of them, handles are already installed as standard, on which it is necessary to press from above. In addition to people with arthritis, my dog ​​also has a bonus, which has learned to open the door with a single jump on the handle.

We build life in a new way - based on the life expectancy of years in 100

The expansion of the horizon also affects the decision in your personal life at the beginning of the journey. The choice for women between motherhood and career in general becomes irrelevant. If a woman chooses motherhood and devotes 20 to her children only, what will she do with the remaining 50? On the other hand, it looks absolutely reasonable for a long, about five years, child care leave: from 60 years of work experience 5 can be devoted to years, it's just 8%!

Some life strategies that might have seemed “loser” with a life horizon of 65 years now look quite reasonable. For example, one of my relatives, who was an excellent student at school and dreamed of becoming a biologist, dropped out of university in her third year and at the age of 24 already has two children. “It’s okay,” I tell her father, my husband’s brother. – Vicky can always finish her studies and, if she goes to work at 30 years old, when the children are already in school, she will have 40 or even more years of career ahead of her.

Фото: Depositphotos

Much better than at the same age when there are already important responsibilities at work, but there is no power to dictate conditions, give birth to a child and are torn between a baby and a career. ”

You should not laugh at university graduates who have returned to live with their parents in order to save money on housing. Without mom and dad, they will still live 70 for years, and saving 2-3 at this point can be a huge help.

And if you have to work longer, then you need to look better and take better care of your health. Americans began to smoke less, play more sports and eat healthier.

Costs for cosmetics and cosmetic procedures are growing at a cosmic pace. In 2015, the popularity of Botox increased by 2000% compared to 759, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Maintaining health, beauty and mental well-being - wellness is another promising global business, as well as a philosophy of life that is surely with us for a long time.

In 1900, the life expectancy in the USA was 47 years. Those who are born today can expect to spend centuries on this planet. Pessimists see the future of the West as a huge nursing home, where immigrants from the Third World push carts with local old people, changing the essence and culture of Western civilization. Optimists are a more mature, stable and wise world where people live long and productive years of life. But whatever this new world may be, we had to become witnesses of its birth.

The original column is published on the website. Ukrainian service "Voices of America".

Text translation prepared editionNew time".

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