Seeing this image appear on my Facebook feed made me really think about the implications highlighted by the pictured gentleman. There is no question that we need to think about the national (and global!) financial sustainability of an ageing population and associated pension costs. But surely this can’t just be a financial discussion right?! Do we know what the physical demands and impact of raising the retirement age will be? are we strong enough to cope?
What we know about strength and retirement age:
- We currently have virtually no data on the physical or strength demands of most occupations, meaning that we don’t know how we should ideally prepare to be able to cope with those demands in later life.
- We have no recent data on current population fitness levels, with the last national survey of physical activity, The Active Australia Survey (AIHW 2003), having been conducted in 1999! Lots has happened since then, and not much of it good from a physical activity perspective! So if we don’t have good baseline data, how can we properly plan for the future??
- Which leads to not having enough data points to accurately predict where we are going to be in a decade;
- We have no data on people’s movement capacity, or how this changes across the lifespan. So it’s hard to correlate people’s movement capacity to those (insufficient) job demand standards.
- We do know that we are getting fatter and unhealthier though!
How should we prepare?
I’ll leave the financial planning side of things to experts in that area, but can I suggest to you that exploring ways to increase your fitness and strength would be one of the most valuable insurance covers you could take? We have much information published on this site to help you develop a plan to make you stronger, fitter, and better prepared to meet the physical and health demands of our increased life span, and increased work life! have a read, and drop us a line if you need more support!
Let us please remember that financial decisions are often a bottom line output affected by MANY lines of input that need to be considered!
This seems as short sighted to me as facing a certain health crisis in our population would be and only devoting 1% of our health budget to preventative strategies…. oh wait…