As the massive Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age, the Medicare will come under ever increase financial pressure. With people living longer than ever, one of the most obvious fixes is to raise the Social Security retirement age. However, it appears that wealth is a key factor in determining how much longer people will live in the future. The richer you are, the longer your life expectancy, perhaps due to better access to good health care, better food choices, and a better understanding of healthy lifestyle factors.
A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that for people born in 1940, men in the wealthiest 10% of the population can expect on average to live 10.7 years longer than men the poorest 10%. For women in that same age group, those in the wealthiest 10% can expect on average to live 9.7 years longer than those the poorest 10%. The article “The Richer You Are the Older You’ll Get” points out how the rising retirement age hurts the poor far more than the rich.