The New American Way: Work Yourself to Death?
Once upon a time, America was the crown jewel of the world as far as life expectancy, quality of life and job satisfaction. According to new research, this is no longer the case. American’s are working longer, retiring later, and dying sooner than we have in any recent history (say like the last 40 years).
The required age to collect social security is 65, which at this point is basically a joke (you can’t live off of social security, start planning your retirement now with IRA, Roth IRA and others, seriously). The average across the board for social security is roughly $1300 a month, which translates to $16,000 per year. It’s just not going to cut it. So in order to get the higher social security wages, the average worker is staying in the workforce longer to try and accumulate the highest paid 35 years (that’s how SS works) and cap it out.
Well, that’s not so bad you say? Some people think that if you stop working, that’s when your will to live goes out the window and people start passing away soon after they retire. You’d be wrong. American’s are experiencing more and more health problems and our life expectancy is actually dropping. According to the Journal of Health Affairs, Americans in their 50’s are already having significantly more health problems that are usually attributed to much older persons. Suicide, depression, and alcohol abuse are some of the main causes which have offset the major medical breakthroughs that have been made such as a decline in smoking and innovative cardiovascular rehabilitation techniques. Cognitive decline is also on the rise with 11 percent of working force adults age 66 or higher, having some sort of degenerative brain function such as dementia or Alzheimer’s (like in Congress).
The truths that have been laid bare here may seem harsh, but if you took Math for Marines or Financial Planning MCI’s, or listened when 1st Sgt. gave you briefings on different retirement accounts that you could set up, you’d be in a much better spot. Americans are working longer, dying sooner and have more mental and physical health issues than before. It’s time you took back your life. Plan ahead, ask for the promotion, start a business and be successful. The future is yours for the taking or losing.