With all the negative news about the financial future, I thought I would give a few reasons why it won’t be so bad. And since some of us are closer to retirement than others….
1. We may be fatter, but overall we’re healthy. Along with other age groups, we’re getting fatter. In 2010, 38 percent of people ages 65 and older were obese, compared with 22 percent from 1988 to 1994. The better news is more than 76 percent of people 65 and older reported their health as good to excellent. And women, at least, aren’t getting any fatter, with no statistically significant weight gain since 1999
2. More of us are working. In 2011, 27 percent of women and 37 percent of men ages 65 to 69 were on the job. In 1984 — a retirement zenith — only 17 percent of women and 24 percent of men ages 65 to 69 worked a pay check
3. We’re richer. Between 1974 and 2010, there was an increase in the number of people with high incomes from 18 percent to 31 percent, while the proportion of older people with low incomes declined from 35 percent to 26 percent, and the number of people living below the poverty line fell from 15 percent to 9 percent.
4. We’re living longer. Life expectancies at ages 65 and age 85 have increased. People who survive to age 65 can expect to live an average of 19.2 more years, nearly five years longer than people who were age 65 in 1960. In 2009, the life expectancy of people who survived to age 85 was seven years for women and 5.9 years for men.