March 1, 2005


People in U.S. Living Longer (Rosie Mestel, March 1, 2005, LA Times)

Americans are living longer than ever before — for an average of 77.6 years — and the life expectancy of men is drawing closer to that of women, according to government statistics released Monday.

Death rates from conditions such as heart disease and cancer appear to be declining, while those from others, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, have risen slightly.

The report, released by the government's National Center for Health Statistics, is based on more than 2.4 million death certificates issued in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available. The number represents about 93% of all certificates.

The statistics revealed that life expectancy had increased by nearly four months from the 2002 figure of 77.3 years.

The gap between women and men narrowed slightly, from 5.4 years in 2002 to 5.3 years in 2003, continuing an equalizing trend that has been observed since 1979.

Accordingly, SS benefits should kick in at around age 75.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2005 8:13 AM

Accordingly, SS benefits should kick in at around age 75.

So what about companies that discriminate against employees over age 60 (or even 50). They've become clever enough to do so without incurring an age discrinmination law suit (if you're already employed, they'll make your life miserable until you leave; if you want to be hired,they won't acknowledge your resume, etc.). I know too many corporate casualties of this subtle discrimination.

It's all well and good to say we should work until age 75 (I intend to since retirement would probably bore me to death) - but who's going to hire us geezers?

Posted by: daniel duffy at March 1, 2005 8:36 AM

Seventy is a more realistic retirement age. Remember that Americans don't take nearly as much vacation as other countries, and the payback for that is a longer retirement. Exceptions would also need to be made for those in physically demanding jobs, like miners or farmhands.

As for age discrimination, that's one of the hazards of having a large labor pool in this country. We can pass laws galore, but the problem will still be around.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 1, 2005 11:36 AM

So either way, we're screwed.

Posted by: daniel duffy at March 1, 2005 2:36 PM


When the program was passed retirement age and life expectancy were the same. If Democrats really want to preserve the New Deal let's keep it that way.

Posted by: oj at March 1, 2005 2:45 PM

actually OJ, its not life expectancies at birth that should be compared, but life expectancies at more advanced ages.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 2, 2005 2:59 AM