ERIC Number: ED288165
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: N/A
A Generation at Risk: When the Baby Boomers Reach Golden Pond.
Butler, Robert N.
The 20th century has seen average life expectancy in the United States move from under 50 years to over 70 years. Coupled with this increase in average life expectancy is the aging of the 76.4 million persons born between 1946 and 1964. As they approach retirement, these baby-boomers will have to balance their own needs with those of living parents and even grandparents, while having fewer family members to turn to for help as a result of having fewer children, more divorce, and more social isolation. To minimize dependency and maximize productivity, society must spur institutional change. Although extending the work span by delaying retirement could add to finances needed in later years, a delayed-retirement strategy implies a full-employment economy. This issue must be explored, and the solidity and efficiency of retirement-income programs must be evaluated. The use of tax breaks to encourage people to plan for their own retirement should be considered. While some feel that improvements in longevity have been accompanied by improvements in health, trend data suggest that sickness and disability rates by age bracket have held steady over the last decade, projecting a heavier load of sickness and disability in the 21st century. Consequently, there will be a need for more geriatric physicians in the future. All of these issues must be addressed and well-conceived policies must be created in order to make later life a time of options. (NB)
Descriptors: Aging (Individuals), Change Strategies, Economic Change, Financial Needs, Futures (of Society), Long Range Planning, Population Trends, Public Policy, Retirement Benefits
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Attn: Publications Division, P.O. Box 7998, Austin, TX 78713-7998.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.