That retirement expectations are radically out of line with modern living standards shouldn’t come as news to anyone. Thanks to medical progress people are living longer and as wealth grows they are choosing to retire earlier. This makes a certain economic sense, except to those of us who see work as one of the key factors which gives meaning to life. In many ways, we are what we produce.
The economic crisis and funding woes have meant that the long-foreseen reality of funding problems caused by too many retirees and too few workers are finally catching up to Europe. Countries are responding by attempting to reform their systems. But people have a way of denying reality until they have no other options making any change politically difficult.
More than four-fifths of the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which represents advanced and emerging economies, are raising retirement ages or planning to do so. Fourteen countries — including several on the front lines of the European financial crisis, such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Ireland — are looking to increase their retirement ages to between 67 and 69 by 2050.
One moral is to not trust others to plan for you.