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World’s Richest Man Calls For Increasing Retirement Age To 70

By Pat Garofalo on June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

"World’s Richest Man Calls For Increasing Retirement Age To 70"

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Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim, who is the world’s richest manwith a fortune of $65 billion, believes that struggling countries need to raise their retirement age to 70 in order to help fix their finances:

Countries should have people work until they are older to reflect longer life expectancy rates, Slim reportedly saidSlim added the current retirement age was established “when jobs were more physical and people died at 60, but now we live until 85 or 90.”

El Universal reported one of the world’s savviest businessmen as saying: “We live in the knowledge society, so knowledge and experience should be valued. This is why a person’s work life could be increased.”

Raising the retirement age from 65 to 70 is also a favorite suggestion of American conservatives, who cite the same reasons: an increased life expectancy and changing workforce. But at least in America, it’s not true that life expectancy is increasing for everybody.

In fact, while life expectancy has gone up substantially for richer, white men, low-income workers have not seen the same gains. Low-income minority women have actually seen their life expectancy decrease in recent years. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research put it, “there has been a sharp rise in inequality in life expectancy by income over the last three decades that mirrors the growth in inequality in income.”

If current trends in inequality continue in the U.S., raising the retirement age to 70 would result in those born after 1973 having a shorter retirement than those born in 1912.

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