The aging tide is coming in and presents us with a new challenge of what some are calling the “third age.” In 1900 about 1 in 20 persons was old; by 2030, it will be 1 in 5. Aging in America has quietly become a mainstream issue. The baby boomers are now reaching the age of retirement and those before them are also starting to live longer lives. These two items paired together are adding a strain on the resources and their availability to sustain the government’s ability to support their retirement funding. With this in mind people can and must take more responsibility for all aspects of their own aging. According to Dr. J. Cotter (2012) “Baby Boomers are the largest age segment of the US population. 77 million strong. 17th largest nation in the world. They have shaped and reshaped history, Civil Rights, JFK, Watergate, Vietnam, media, and sexual mores. They are the pig in the python, stretching the society from the inside out as we grew up and never fully digested.” Just as boomers changed the schools and the workplace, they will change retirement. As we see this group of Americans have contributed a great deal to society over the years, but the time has now come for society to return the favor. The question now becomes are we as a nation prepared? The first boomers retired in 2011 and now every 7 seconds there is a new older boomer.
Over ¼ of the society could be retired and out of the workforce. The question then becomes not only what will they do, but how do replace them in the work force? One reason this becomes an issue is that couples are no longer having as many children, which reduce the number of people available to work. Another issue becomes education. The cost of a college degree has risen tremendously and not as many people are attending college. As a society, with the mortality rate increasing, how will we cope with 30 years of retirement with the baby boomers? “Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.”!(Mahatma Gandhi). As older people and the baby boomer continue to retire and need programs such as Medicare and Social Security benefits the younger generations worry that these same benefits may not be available for them. If these people are leaving the work force this will force higher taxes for the younger generation to be able to fund their retirement. We all know that someday we will need these benefits to fund our own retirement.” What is needed is not a generational conflict, but a public policy that ensures that the medical and support benefits available to the older generation are available to all generations” (Cotter, 2012). Every person contributing to resources such as; Social Security, Medicare,