We Are Living Longer

We spend time in Paris yearly. I read French newsletters similar to the ones that cover NY, so, unsurprisingly, we keep up with French politics. Macron forced a bill through parliament changing the retirement age from 62 to 64. The response was over a million people coming out to protest throughout France. Violence erupted in some locations, and the trash union ceased picking up the garbage in Paris.

Granted, shoving something through parliament is not a good idea. There are a few other ways to make the shift, such as making this law go into effect for people in their 50s vs. those 62 who just found out they must work for two more years.

The heart of the issue is we are all living longer. We are all living in an economy in transition. In France, two more years of working and paying taxes are supposedly needed to run the machine. Social security is a drain on the US too. The Supreme Court ends up having people serve much longer than required simply because we live longer. Politicians continue to run and win way into their 70s and now 80s, although they really do not connect to the times we are living in. People running corporate America are not retiring at 64.

Decades before, when people retired at 64, they did not live another 35 years. Living costs money, and many can’t retire because they have not made enough to live to be 100. Macron looked at the numbers and decided two more years of work would be critical. I have no idea what the correct number is, but living older is a great reality, and with that is a cost that we have not yet figured out. From the riots in France, it doesn’t seem like they have either.