Today’s news covers a growing world-wide concern of a world’s population. Although most of the articles and conversations are about China’s drop in population, the developed democracies are in much the same boat as China. Aging demographics are a seen as a source of national weakness. The industrialized countries are expected to age substantially in the decades ahead. Source of information on this issue can be found at https://ourworldindata.org/ .
If countries are smart, they will replenish their young populations with immigration. Of course, domestic political reluctance can be overcome but it is only a stop-gap measure. Even Africa’s population is falling at an accelerated pace. In 1990 the average African woman was expected to have 6 children. Today that is down to 4 and the drop is accelerating. Source https://noahpinion.substack.com/
Part of the world-wide problem is the acceptance of a retirement age that is no longer workable in a world were people have longer life spans. Retirees use more services than goods and are not adding much economic production to the country. When a country gets older and the current age of retirement stays in place, a shrinking percentage of the workers has to support a growing percentage of retirees. Aging can also lower the rate of entrepreneurship, since old people take fewer risks with less time to take them. What company wants to invest in a country that’s going to have fewer and fewer customers each year?
We can say robots will save us to replace workers. There is a limit on this as they can be an assistant to a worker but not necessarily replace the workers. We just saw 1 1/2 million people retire due to the covid period. In any case research shows that aging presents an economic headwind that needs to be actively fought against. Part of our current shortage of workers is this loss of 1 1/2 million retirees. Some of whom took early retirement.
I have beat this thought to death that we should not plan on retirement but, instead, have different careers that help us age productively and safely. The current age of retirement at 65 should be raised and gradually eliminated. The military is begging for healthy recruits but then keeps the approved age in office of only 20 years when they can retire. This is really absurd. In essence an 18 year old signing up can retire at 38 and the taxpayers pay while the military personnel goes on to another career. With these types of rules, no wonder we are short of healthy recruits. The turnover is atrocious. Raising the retirement period to 25 years of service at least could make a big difference in the short run. Here is another factoid, workers who have older co-workers tend to earn less. There seems to be some evidence that when a company is full of older workers, that company becomes less productive in general. https://www.nber.org/papers/w22452
What can countries do? Besides building more machine (machines don’t replace workers but they do allow one worker to do more than before), have workers retire later. People who were expecting to have nice long retirements need to change their thinking and allow a country to relieve some of the burden on younger workers. Japan is already doing this and has more and more people in their late 60’s and early 70’s remaining in the workforce. Entice the populace to have more children. This is challenging but doable as older workers and robots will not really prevent the drag to the productivity of a country.
How can we age better to live longer and healthier?
Here are a few steps to living past 100 and longer:
Set your age goal to be 120 years.
Talk about it, think about it and share your ideas for what you will be doing during years prior to 120. Set your goal of living to a specific age. Continue to focus this goal until you fix it in your brain cells, until you focus out into life the results you desire. The more you talk about it, think about it, the deeper the impression becomes on your brain so that your physical body will conform to the age image you have selected.
Plan your new career, investment strategies, health changes, lifestyle changes, relationship changes up until 120 years.
Read articles and books on proof of living 120 years. Read about Moses who started the journey out of Israel at age 80. It lasted 40 years. The Book of Genesis also mentions a life expectancy of 120 years.
Consider retirement only after your 100th birthday. Form a group that supports longevity until 120. Share information to enhance your knowledge.
Visualize your body as a lighted candle. It burns brightly until there is no candle left. The light goes out suddenly rather than slowly and painfully. The body was not built for pain. Consider pain and ill health unnatural.
Look after your body so that it will remain healthy, active and supportive of your desire for long life. It is not until you make the decision to live longer that you pay attention to your physical body needs.
The symbol for the law is based on the number 12. Throughout history we have always measured time in divisions of twelve. The sun, which is the center of the solar system, moves in a large circle every 25,000 years and this period of time is divided into 12 equal divisions commonly known as the 12 signs of the zodiac. When you divide 25,000 by 12, you end up with 12 periods of approximately 2100 years or and Age. Each year is divided into 12 months, 12 hours before noon and 12 hours after noon. 12 is the number for measuring time. The ancients used the zodiac as the symbol for measuring time and longevity, whereas modern man tends to use the clock face with its 12 hours as the symbol for living to a great age of 120 years.
Continue to adjust your thinking and lifestyles to a much longer life. Avoid artificial man-made time frames. Eventually they all change. Since we are facing a drop in population and a shortage of workers to take care of the retirees, plan on working longer. The country will eventually have to adjust its thinking as well. Every year, upgrade your skills and learning capability. You will live longer and healthier lives.
Wonderful article! Years ago in the seventies, I attended a workshop for all the managers in the Northwest. The presenter asked us, “How many of you plan to live to 100?” I was the only person in the room who raised my hand and I said, “Minimum!” He responded, “Guess what? All the rest of you are going to die before you reach 100!” This year I will be entering my 90th year and after reading your article, my new response will be “120, minimum!”
I am playing tennis and pickleball 4 times a week
Here is an article I wrote about this topic a couple of years ago: WHY I WANT TO OUTLAW THE WORD ‘RETIREMENT’ FROM THE VOCABULARY
As usual Gail, great stuff. I hope more and forepeople listen.
The person who will live to be 150 is already walking amongst us.
Greetings Gail: I have been following you for a long time and agree that we are designed to live long, healthy, productive lives. Unfortunately, as you know, the prevailing mainstream belief is the acceptance of aches, pains, physical and mental inability, etc. is “part of life” and will (must) happen as we age.
For those of us who believe otherwise, where I personally lose faith is not in myself but in the extractive systems that humans have created. I believe without doubt that the corporate America of today would fully exploit and overwork people if companies knew they could get an additional 30 years out of each employee. And really, who wants to be subject to that?
To your question, “How can we age better to live longer and healthier?”, I don’t feel most people are against exploring the question. Rather they/we can’t trust that human systems — whether capitalist, governmental, or otherwise — won’t take advantage of that for their own selfish gain at the expense of humanity at large. In my estimation, that’s the bigger hurdle, and souls simply don’t want to stick around long enough to take the risk.
Put more simply, do people want to live to 120 if it means being enslaved to an oppressive job or jobs, living in a self-centered society that cares about me over we, not to mention the livability of the planet in the future due to climate change, etc?
Having a quality of life that makes living to 120 desirable, productive, and pleasurable is key. I believe souls need assurance of that before there is a universal shift of mindset and the actions that will support it.
This is first class
The book “I Have Decided To Live to Age 120 by Ilchi Lee talks about. exactly what you shared, Gail.
This is a “keeper,” Gail! I am sending it to everyone I know who thinks they already have one foot in the grave because they are in their 60s!
I have already started my new career in grant writing for nonprofits, and I have started to learn how to play the piano. Concert Pianist or Hotel Lounge Entertainer, Here I come!
It is also CRUCIAL to keep one’s brain healthy and running cleanly on all cylinders: avoid sugars and processed foods, stay hydrated, stop watching/listening to cable “news” and mainstream media. Our brain is like a sponge when it comes to toxic messaging, so look for uplifting inspiring messages instead. My favorite is cat/kitten videos on YouTube!
The phrase “May you live until 120” (Hebrew: עד מאה ועשרים שנה: Ad me’ah ve-essrim shana; Yiddish: ביז הונדערט און צוואַנציק; Biz hundert un tsvantsik), often written as “till 120”, is a traditional Jewish blessing. Gail, I thought I knew where you were going with the article, but as always, you surprised me. My former, longtime PR client Franco Columbu said there’s no reason why people can’t live to 150. He told me that 30 years ago. As my mother used to say, “Wishing won’t make it so,” So we need conscious intention.
Love your perspective Gail, I agree with you and wholeheartedly embrace what you say.