It is with no surprise that we are in the society where the population continues to age. With longer life expectancy combined with decreased fertility, many countries are beginning to see a shift, making up more and more of the population. This pushes us to go beyond maintaining any type of social or financial structure we have and forces us to develop new policies in order to support the elder age bracket whilst not neglecting the younger and middle-aged groups. Many expect there to be a drastic social change; however, the financial implication this brings is often forgotten. Money is a crucial factor on personal and global levels, and we need to keep in mind how it can affect us practically and emotionally during these unpredictable times.
In 2020, it was estimated that there were 727 million people older than 65 years of age.1 However, the population is expected to double by 2050 – reaching 1.5 billion people in the same age category, meaning that one out of six people will be aged 65 or above globally.
Millennials (those born between 1981 and 19962) will feel the financial burden from both directions as the population ageing problem becomes apparent to the world. Not only would they be responsible to take care of their family, such as their partner and children, but they now are also responsible for looking after their parents. Advanced health care in addition to undisturbed food-chain supply has made it possible for many families to have three generations, and sometimes more, at the same table. Though it is a notable change, the financial load is not insignificant. Compounded with inflation, millennials might start to experience underearning after taking on the responsibility of not only taking care of children but also their parents for years to come. Financial stress that is created via this funnel of people becoming older can manifest into negative thoughts, stress, insomnia, and for some, depression. Money problems have always been one of the leading causes for stress and anxiety and the ageing population does not help.
The younger generation, on the other hand, may experience a difference set of difficulties such as profession shortages seen in the labor force. Just like a gust of wind, a drastic shift can change the norm of the environment very easily. In this case, it can lead to an increase in labor costs, which is another type of money problem the younger generation has to keep in mind.
It is not to say that an advanced health care system is bad – it is one of humanity’s biggest accomplishments. However, we must keep in mind the severe and potentially catastrophic socio-economic consequences that will ultimately alter our lives and way of life.
- United Nations. (n.d.). Population division |. United Nations. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/
- Age range by generation. Beresford Research. (2022, April 20). Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://www.beresfordresearch.com/age-range-by-generation/