“Get into The Act!” That’s the theme for this year’s Older Americans’ Month, which is celebrated every May. This year also represents the 50th year of the Older Americans Act. When Older Americans’ Month was inaugurated in 1963, there were only 17 million Americans over the age of 65. Can you imagine? We’ve come quite a long way. You should definitely get out and do something to celebrate yourself and your elderly loved ones, but if you’re more civic minded, you can download all sorts of goodies including sample press releases, logos, and an outreach guide, from the Administration for Community Living.
It’s coming up on 30 years since the U.S. removed mandatory retirement at age 65. Now, some people may not be too happy to keep on working past that age, but the reality is, more and more people are — in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 22% of seniors over age 65 will be participating in the workforce by 2022. And the reality is, the notion of going from full-time to no-time at the flick of a switch is more than a little anachronistic. Moreover, studies show that working or volunteering can actually improve your health.
One of the main roles of government is wealth redistribution. In the U.S., the single largest group to benefit from wealth redistribution is the elderly; however, Fortune cites a paper from the Brookings Institute, stating that the elderly are one of the two groups that “have most moved against income redistribution” since 1978. The study claims that on the surface 40% of this is actual in their self-interest (being unconvinced that things like universal healthcare won’t disrupt Medicare) — but that still leaves 60% of the vote going against their self interest. Perhaps the elderly are just a little more altruistic than the rest of the population.