With our current recession deepening amid rising costs of healthcare, plunging 401k portfolios, and the collapse of the housing market, there is growing evidence that retirement security for today's seniors is unstable, at best. According to a recent Demos report, 78% of senior households are financially vulnerable, or lack the resources necessary to sustain themselves through the rest of their lives. With the baby boomer generation approaching retirement age, the future for older Americans is more uncertain than ever.
Demos and The Century Foundation hosted a discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and geriatric specialist Dr. Robert Butler about his new book, The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life. Butler examines the medical, economic and social consequences of an aging population. Increasing longevity brings a host of challenges, such as finding treatments for chronic health problems, building a health-care system capable of handling the load, strengthening America's social insurance programs, and providing legal protection against age discrimination. Many of Butler's topics overlap with family issues, such as creating a fair elder-care system and strengthening pro-family work policies. In an optimistic tone, Butler urges the need to reinvent our current system to ensure a better future for all Americans. He presents a strong argument for why everyone, from individuals to doctors, legislators, and policymakers, should pay far more attention to the growing elderly population worldwide.