Thought this article was provocative enough to share. What might it be like to have 1 child paying and caring for 2 parents and 4 grandparents? Forget directly paying for, how about the necessary taxation for old-age safety nets? How about them dark clouds on the horizon, eh?
Women planning to have 1.x children, enough to replace themsleves but not their 'partner?' What might it be like to watch the world population decline? Or, be a rare commodity, a young worker in a sea of elderly? I suppose for the student class sizes will get smaller, more personal attention...if there's enough teachers still in the workforce.
People might be living longer, but in what kind of condition? According to the author, no we can't rely on an older yet vibrant workforce.
[i]"But only if older workers are healthy. And that's a big if. You might have noticed a lot more middle-age Americans using canes, walkers, and wheelchairs these days. So many of Walmart's customers are now physically impaired that the giant retailer has replaced many of its shopping carts with electric scooters that allow shoppers to remain seated as they cruise the aisles. Such sights are reflected in statistics showing that, for the first time since such record-keeping began, disability rates are no longer improving among middle-age Americans, but getting worse.
According to a recent Rand Corp. study published in Health Affairs, more than 40 percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 already have difficulties performing ordinary activities of daily life, such as walking a quarter mile or climbing 10 steps without resting -- a substantial rise from just 10 years ago. Because of this declining physical fitness among the middle-aged, we can expect the next generation of senior citizens to be much more impaired than the current one.
It isn't just Americans. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are spreading globally. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of obese adults increased worldwide from 200 million to 300 million -- with 115 million of these living in developing countries. From Chile to China, McDonald's and KFC are opening franchises every day, even as people everywhere spend more and more of their time in automobiles and in front of flat-screen TVs and computer monitors. More than a billion people worldwide are now estimated to be overweight, creating a global pandemic of chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes."[/i]
The only thing left to ask is, besides having few if any children to rely on in their old age, how many will even have a spouse?