The economist thinks that the numerical sequence of age and its associated implications are outdated. A new perspective is required to consider the age as not just a numeric but as something else – or at the very least a negative delta (and more so if you are comparing women to men) needs to be automatically attributed to the age.An important aspect of this is in countries like India. Given the dearth of social security post-retirement, it is actually a problem. With the increased life expectancy and the retirement age remaining static, with only the left and the allied parties deciding when one will retire, I think Indian old age is going to have a bigger problem. With life being forced into the you are retired now mode, but a lot more living to do, the middle class and the lower middle class will need a larger savings (or better returns on their savings) to be able to combat the steadily increasing inflation rate. With India’s inflation rate hovering over 6% (or higher) and the interest rates steadily dropping, the middle class and the (soon to be middle-aged) YUPPY crowd of India might not have much to live with – except for pot bellies and chronic backaches !
I haven’t read the original paper yet, but from the summary, it looks to me that there is a different metric that the Indian policy makers need to consider before they decide on when a certain segment of the workforce hangs their boots and is relegated to resting on armchairs or being the nannies for their grandchildren. The counter-argument to the ability of the government to retire people will be to allow the younger generation to fill in the gap – but then this is a skewed replacement isn’t it ? The older generation is not being provided enough to be able to lead a healthy post-retirement life by the state, and the market seems to be volatile for that generation to invest their life’s savings in. In such a case, isn’t it that the policy makers have some digging to do into the numbers to ensure that a rudimentary social service net be provided for them ? Increasing the retirement age might not do much (as we all know that the % of the unorganized sector is rather high in our country). What are the alternatives that the economists can think of ?