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(22,336 posts)
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 08:38 AM Jan 2016

Rich people are living longer than poor people, and the gap is widening. (Article re soc. security)


Average American lifespans have grown over time. For example, an average 65-year-old man in 2015 can expect to live nearly six years longer than his counterpart 50 years earlier; for an average woman, the gain is over three years. But these average figures mask significant differences among Americans at different rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Richer people live longer — and the gap is growing. The higher a person’s socioeconomic status — whether measured in earnings, income, or education — the longer his or her life expectancy. As the chart shows, for example, higher-earning men can expect to outlive lower-earning men by more than five years. Moreover, the gap between the lifespans of rich and poor has grown significantly, an abundance of research shows, and this trend is accelerating.

Meanwhile, poorer women’s lifespans have actually shrunk, some studies show. Some groups of Americans are living shorter lives than their parents. This disturbing phenomenon is concentrated among women: the poorest 40 percent of women have lower life expectancies than the previous generation, one study found. Higher death rates among white women seem to drive this trend.

The growing longevity gap makes Social Security less progressive. Social Security is designed to replace a larger share of pre-retirement earnings for lower earners than higher earners. But lower earners receive retirement benefits for fewer years before dying. As the longevity gap between lower and higher earners grows, the share of retirement benefits going to needy households shrinks.


(16,245 posts)
1. This is why talk of raising retirement age is so cruel
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 08:57 AM
Jan 2016

People whose jobs are physical need to retire sooner than someone who has a desk job.

I also think we need to raise the cap on social security.

Major Nikon

(36,742 posts)
6. Probably not so much if you look at the actuarial statistics
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 09:56 AM
Jan 2016

People who retire early tend to die sooner than those who don't. So raising the retirement age very much could cause people to live longer. For decades, major companies have set retirement ages based on actuarial science with the expectation that people won't live as long and keep costs lower.


(3,795 posts)
3. Exactly. Stress kills. And, life continues to become more and more stressful for most of us.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 09:46 AM
Jan 2016

Establishment Democrats NEVER talk about this or fight for policies that would help alleviate that stress.


(28,581 posts)
4. Not having to worry about basic food, shelter and medicine would alieviate much of it
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 09:49 AM
Jan 2016

I even know a conservative who thinks a minimum income is a good idea because the money goes right back into the economy. Can you imagine the country we could have if people were able to dream again, to take vacations again, to relax again?


(3,795 posts)
5. We should be able to have that country, and we deserve to have that country.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 09:53 AM
Jan 2016

We need to reform the Democratic Party so that the American people have ONE political party that will FIGHT to make that possible.

Americans want it. The only reason we can't have it is corruption within the Dem Party where elected Democrats keep shouting "No We Can't" have it.

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