Retirement planning is a worldwide issue. The World Health Organization, or WHO, reported last week:
- The number of people age 60 and older has doubled since 1980.
- The number of people age 80 years and older will quadruple to 395 million by 2050.
- Within the next five years, the number of adults age 65 and over will outnumber children younger than age 5.
- By 2050, these older adults will outnumber all children younger than age 14.
Given this scenario of an aging population, what can those of us at the epicenter do to help ourselves avoid being victims of this demographic revolution as we slide into retirement?
WHO lists these points as major factors in successful aging worldwide:
Stay healthy yourself and encourage policies that provide for a healthy lifestyle for those who are younger. WHO points out that good nutrition, healthy practices and superior health care ensures that people of all ages are productive. If we oldsters going to rely on a shrinking number of younger people to be the workers, we better do everything we can to make sure they are healthy and strong.
Support education and research. As the population ages, the number of people living with chronic conditions and disabilities will rise dramatically. Figuring how to treat these problems is critical to the general welfare.
Have a plan for long-term care. WHO expects the number of people unable to care for themselves to quadruple by 2050. With all that competition for resources, including a shrinking number of available caregivers, the people with the plan will thrive.
Stay involved. People of all ages who are part of the solution do better than those who are part of the problem.
May your Passover be blessed or your Easter be joyous.