Here Come the Old Folks

by Cameron Schaefer on May 2, 2010

Joshua Keating writes that the world is about to become filled with lots of really old people,

More than half the babies born since 2000 in France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada, Japan, and the United States will live past 100, according to a recent study in The Lancet, the British medical journal, charting the astronomical increase in life expectancy experienced since 1840 in developed countries. By midcentury there will be nearly 6 million people over 100 in the world, compared with just 340,000 today, according to the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

The article points out that one major issue to be tackled will be raising the age of retirement. One organization that is going to be SLAMMED by this demographic shift is the U.S. military who currently doles out full-retirement for life to anyone that serves 20 years of active duty.

The DoD is going to have to change it’s retirement plans soon, pushing back the age that one begins receiving benefits as it can no longer afford to pay hundreds of thousands of military retirees full-retirement for 50+ years (assuming they retire at age 44 and live to age 94). One day quite soon (last week) we will have to decide if we want to buy a bullet or another dental exam for a retiree…bye, bye grandpa.

Oh yeah and if you think you’re safe because you’re not in the military. Social security which was long estimated to go into deficit somewhere between 2016 and 2020 went into deficit this year.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrew May 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

If you’ve ever taken a basic course in statistics, you’ll understand the that predicting a life expectancy curve for 10-year olds is fraught with peril. That’s a LOT of prediction for something filled with so many variables. I don’t buy it at all.

Now, if you want to talk “term-limits” for military who get passed over for promotion, that’s another story. Why should a Major passed over for LtCol get to retire w/ full pension? They find out whether they made it after 14-15 years…why is there a guaranteed retirment for the “bottom of the barrel” folks? Let’s have a board to *choose* who gets to stay after getting passed over for O-5, not a blanket policy (let alone allowing a non-prior O-3 to stay for 20!)

Same thing goes at higher ranks…why does an O-6 get to stay for 30 years, when their last shot at GO occurs at their 25th year? Retirement pay for a 30-year O-6 right now is ~$90K/year, forever. Seriously?

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