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Will Baby Boomers live as Long as Expected?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Jul 24, 2007
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    Posting this in D & D as there are some issues regarding Social Security and disparity in health life expectancy between the rich and poor in the article. It is pretty long so just posting the first few paragraphs but to summarize Baby Boomers may not live as long as people are expecting due to a variety of factors that weren't as prevalent in the Greatest Generation. Also just to note that this report isn't great news for Gen X and Y as obesity may be a big factor in declining life expectancies and we are getting fatter.


    Will baby boomers live as long as expected?

    What if the generation that once rocked out to The Who's "hope I die before I get old" line actually does?

    Most retirement plans and federal budget projections assume baby boomers -- those Americans born between 1946 and 1964 -- will live significantly longer than their parents have. That is a logical assumption, given healthcare improvements, new drugs and the long 20th century experience of ever-rising life expectancies.

    But there is a counter argument: boomers, beset by factors like elevated rates of obesity, cancer and suicide, could reverse or at least slow the increase in human life spans. A change in trend could have a bearing on everything from Social Security trust fund balances to the number of nursing homes and golf courses supported in the future.

    "It does not bode well for the baby boom generation at all," says S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has been studying boomer longevity under a MacArthur Foundation grant.

    One new study, led by Rice University professor Justin Denney, concludes that it would be a mistake to project the longevity gains of the last century throughout this one. Yet that is about what the trustees who estimate the future solvency of the U.S. Social Security retirement program have been doing.

    Denney notes a "huge increase" of 30 years in U.S. life expectancy from 1900 to the 2000s. But he and fellow researchers see a mere three-year increase over the next 50 years, with improvements in longevity concentrated among the well-to-do, while poorer people will not share in the same benefits.

    Gratuitous Who reference since NBC cut off their performance at the closing ceremonies.

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  2. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

    Oct 29, 2009
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    The large number of births between 1946-1964 (particularly 1957 when more children were born in the USA than any other year) will have no negative effect on future spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs are the most solvent of any government program.

    Furthermore, the baby boomers will also have no negative effect on future funding of these programs. They will begin earning retirement-income instead of earning wage-income and they will hold onto their capital/wealth as they retire from working. You may say this is a problem, BUT, real GDP growth and declining unemployment for this decade will offset this reduction as government revenue is collected from a much larger economy.

    And because dividend and capital gains are taxed differently than wage-income, boomers will be more free to invest their money and become inspirational entrepeurs, growing the economy even further. In fact, we may begin running budget surpluses by the end of this decade. Which could lead to across-the-board tax cuts!

    Therefore, I see no problem with the Social Security Administration amending life-expectancy estimates to reduce the estimated life-expectancy of baby boomers. Even if these estimates turned out to be wrong, any offsets in social welfare funding would be minor as our surplus, larger GDP and monetary easing will take care of that.
  3. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2001
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    I'll let you know how it goes. Anecdotally, since I'm just about 60, it sure seems like a lot of people in their 60's are dying.

    At some point I think societal attitudes towards voluntary end of life choices will be different. I don't think people gain a lot by living to be 100. From what I see people are embarrassed to become a burden on others. Pain is a b**** and the other option is sedation.

    The answer is to probably legalize all drugs for anyone over 75. It's just about that way for hospice care now. When the nurse starts the morphine, you can start the countdown.
  4. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

    Aug 31, 1999
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    Just give ma a capsule and let me make my own decision.

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