As William Shakespeare told us, there are ages, seven of them, to the life of man.
The idea is rather older than that, forming the basis of the Sphinx’s riddle as well. My point being that we all do, barring unfortunate accidents and circumstances, end up in old age. Given that we all do, there’s no economic problem here, for something that happens to all is quite easy to deal with.
However, increasing lifespans do mean that we’ve got to recognise that those different ages, old age itself, turn up at rather different ages these days. That does pose an economic problem and also a political one. For what is the correct age at which we now say that people are old? When they are due some privileges from the rest of us?
AMA Muhith has just suggested that in Bangladesh, this definition of “senior citizen” should change, from a general idea of 60 years of age to one of 65. This isn’t a hugely important change, as there’s not much that goes with being so called.
But it’s an illustration of something much more important — pensions ages and any other fiscal or state privileges we might grant to the old, and at what age we consider them old enough to gain such privileges.