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Uphill battle to retirement

March 19, 2007

Re "80 is the new 65," Opinion, March 13

During the first half of the 20th century, most workers who retired at age 65 had a life expectancy of less than five years. Those who qualified for retirement benefits in advanced countries imposed little cost on government or business.

Since 1950, average life expectancy not only rose 10 years from 68 to 78 years, but more significantly, a revolution of rising expectations transformed the concept of retirement from a brief hiatus between work and death to a prolonged consumerist experience of fulfilling travel, leisure, entertainment and recreation.

Today, healthy people expect to live for 20 to 30 years after leaving the workforce. Raising the retirement age to 70 and above on paper in a society in which most people in fact choose to retire before 65 will mean waging an uphill battle against dreams of retirement cherished by young and old alike.

JIM VALENTINE

Woodland Hills

*

Gee, if 80 is the new 65, I guess that makes 30 the new 15. Hmmm, maybe the author's got something there....

BOB GALE

Pacific Palisades

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