Everybody wants to live a long, healthy life and with modern medicine, we are able to do that. Supplements, enhancements, and other medical breakthroughs that fight disease and prolong our lives are pushing our average lifespans further up. But are we putting too much focus on longevity?
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Though we live longer, the implications that it has on society have been neglected or at the very least, unanticipated.
Because more people live longer, younger generations will have to support that aging population. Unless those people prepared in advance for retirement, the onus is entirely left to the succeeding generations to support their parents and grandparents.
What are the consequences for society if average life expectancy rises to 100 years, or even more? We face the prospect of an army of centenarians cared for by poorly paid immigrants. The children of these centenarians can expect to work well into their 70s, or even 80s. The world of work will alter drastically, with diminishing opportunities for the young.
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More than that, the vision that many older generations have about their retirement years is one where they can simply enjoy their lives and spend their hard-earned money on their bucket list. They want a retirement that is “well-funded, active, and packed with experience.”
But this vision of aging is wishful thinking. Many now face an old age in which the final years are spent in nursing homes. There are several societal reasons for this: increased longevity, the demise of the multi-generational extended family, and the contemporary obsession with safety.
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