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gollygee

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Member since: Sun Jul 4, 2004, 01:07 PM
Number of posts: 22,335

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Rich people are living longer than poor people, and the gap is widening. (Article re soc. security)

http://www.cbpp.org/blog/what-the-growing-longevity-gap-means-for-social-security

Average American lifespans have grown over time. For example, an average 65-year-old man in 2015 can expect to live nearly six years longer than his counterpart 50 years earlier; for an average woman, the gain is over three years. But these average figures mask significant differences among Americans at different rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Richer people live longer — and the gap is growing. The higher a person’s socioeconomic status — whether measured in earnings, income, or education — the longer his or her life expectancy. As the chart shows, for example, higher-earning men can expect to outlive lower-earning men by more than five years. Moreover, the gap between the lifespans of rich and poor has grown significantly, an abundance of research shows, and this trend is accelerating.

Meanwhile, poorer women’s lifespans have actually shrunk, some studies show. Some groups of Americans are living shorter lives than their parents. This disturbing phenomenon is concentrated among women: the poorest 40 percent of women have lower life expectancies than the previous generation, one study found. Higher death rates among white women seem to drive this trend.

The growing longevity gap makes Social Security less progressive. Social Security is designed to replace a larger share of pre-retirement earnings for lower earners than higher earners. But lower earners receive retirement benefits for fewer years before dying. As the longevity gap between lower and higher earners grows, the share of retirement benefits going to needy households shrinks.
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