- By 2050, the world's over-65 population is expected to treble to one in six people.
- Asia's over-60 population will quadruple to 1.2b. That's the equivalent of China's population today.
- At present, four out of the world's 10 fastest ageing populations are in Asia: Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.
- In Singapore, the elderly will account for nearly 20% of the population in 2030. That's only two decades away!
A huge demographic crisis is brewing as birth rates and death rates keep falling. What this means is that an ever-shrinking pool of young people will have to shoulder the burden of looking after a rapidly expanding greying population.
Without any form of retirement planning or medical insurance coverage, the elderly will have to depend ultimately on the government to take care of them. The government already has its hands full grappling with the challenge of meeting pension obligations as the number of retiring workers multiple each year.
How is the government going to finance healthcare for the elderly? Increase taxes? Raise the retirement age? Introduce compulsory maintenance of elderly parents?
On our part, we should keep working as long as possible, especially if we don't have sufficient retirement savings and no health insurance. Those of us who think we have enough funds set aside may need to do some recalculation. With the escalating cost of living expenses, many of us simply can't afford to retire.
Our adult children already have their hands full taking care of their young family. The least we can do to help them is to be financially independent ourselves, and keep sickness at bay.