Aging Is Changing The world

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We all age. We can all feel how our body and mind change with the passage of time. We all have relatives that we slowly and gradually getting older. No one can avoid it.

But aging is not only personal. The fact the that the world is aging rapidly has profound consequences on our societies, our economies, and the way we and the future generations will live and enjoy our lives.

This is a global issue. In the U.S. alone, there is today already 80 millions people who are over 50 years old (+25% of the population). In Japan and Germany, more than 20% are already over 65 years old. The elderly have surpassed the younger age group population in many of our societies.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. What is particularly striking is when you look at the projection for the coming years. The ratio of retirees to workers in Europe will double by 2050 (from 4 workers per retiree to 2 workers per retire). Germany's population will decrease from 82 millions to 70 millions. Russia population will decrease by 20% in the same period (20% percent!). In the U.S. 20 millions more people will over 50 in the next 10 years.

These trends have profound economic and social consequences. First, there is not enough money in the current systems to finance it these changes. Countries already at the brink of bankruptcy need to find alternative solutions to face the different challenges aging creates. Fertility rates might need to rise. Retirement age will most certainly need to be pushed back by a significant margin. Social security systems and pension plans will have to be structurally changed. People will be affected and life as we know it will be significantly altered. Who will bear the consequences of this change?

To try to resolve the problem, a large number of solutions tackling a myriad of issues have to be developed. New opportunities and markets to help people's life transition are being created. Personally at CogniFit, by helping people to remain healthier and productive for a longer period of time, we participate directly in this challenge.

Have you ever seen a retired tiger in the jungle? Our modern social system has been created in the last two centuries and is not a "natural phenomenon". Today, we are starting to pay the consequences of some of our past choices and we can only foresee a difficult transition in the years ahead as important decisions have to be taken to tackle this question. We need to reinvent our social model.

 

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Thomas Manner has 104 articles online

Thomas Manner is a specialist in neuroscience and the brain training field in general.

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Aging Is Changing The world

This article was published on 2012/05/16
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