This is a funny one. I didnít know whether to put this information out as pensions trivia or as a straight BeeLine, but I found it pretty interesting and hope you do to. Itís more of the kind of stuff that could make you really boring at dinner parties (always assuming people keep on inviting you even though they know youíre into pensions that is).
Iíve just read in the Guardian that Japan is ageing faster than any other country in the world. Japanese people have the longest life expectancy of all of us, with 84.9 years for women and 78.1 years for men. The trouble is, they also have one of the lowest birthrates of 1.4 children, so the whole thingís getting pretty skewed age-wise.
Now, Japan already has over 10 million people aged over 75 and faces a frightening pensions crisis in the very near future. At the moment there are four people at work in Japan for every retired person, but in about 20 years time the ratio looks like dropping to two to one.
There is the obvious talk of raising the retirement age (a favourite topic for practically every government worldwide), but the funny thing is people in Japan donít seem to mind - surveys show that two-thirds of the population say they would be happy to keep on working. This may be because, in Japan at least, old age does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with ill-health. Another revealing statistic from Japan is that the average person is only likely to be incapacitated for about eight and a half months between the age of 65 and death.
I think Iím going to start stepping-up the sushi and green tea intake.
Sayonara for now.
19 June 2003
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