The United States will experience a “silver tsunami” this year as a record number of Americans turn 65.
A report released this month found that 4.1 million Americans will reach the milestone this year and that the increase will continue through 2027.
This means that 11,200 American adults turn 65 each day compared to 10,000 a decade ago, a difference of about 12 percent.
The feat has been achieved thanks to the medical advances, better diets and behaviors of the last century, which have helped the country’s more than 61 million Baby Boomers age.
But the findings come amid signs that the United States is moving backwards, as overall life expectancy has lagged far behind the rest of the developed world since the Covid-19 pandemic.
A record 4.1 million Americans are expected to turn 65 this year, even as life expectancy declines dramatically.
The Census Bureau estimates that the youngest baby boomers will turn 65 in 2029, and that the total baby boomer population will reach approximately 61.3 million.
Although the United States is the richest country in the world, people born today in Colombia, Estonia, and China can expect to live longer than the average American.
Experts now estimate that the average American will live just 77 years, the lowest in almost 30 years, compared with 80 in the United Kingdom, 81.6 in Canada and 83 in Australia.
The research team of Partnership for Lifetime Income He said that while 2024 is going to be a “historic” year for the record number of people over 65, the news is not entirely positive.
Cyrus Bamji, chief strategy officer at Alliance of Lifetime Income, said: ‘Peak 65 is a historic moment.
The end of the Baby Boomer generation is starting to turn 65 and, unfortunately, most of them are retiring unprotected, with a safety net full of holes.’
‘At best, many of them will not be able to maintain the lifestyle they want in retirement. In the worst case scenario, they face the prospect of their savings drying up.’
The projected ‘silver tsunami’ is due to the aging of the Baby Boomer population.
Shortly after World War II ended, the number of births in the United States increased dramatically in an effort to strengthen the postwar economy.
This resulted in the birth of 76 million babies between 1946 and 1964, with between 3.4 and four million births each year.
The Census Bureau estimates that the youngest boomers will turn 65 in 2029, and that the total baby boom population will reach approximately 61.3 million.
Experts conducting the Alliance for Lifetime Income research also estimated that the number of people over the age of 65 will also increase in 2025 to approximately 4.18 million. As more and more Boomers cross this threshold, the number of people reaching age 65 will begin to decline, dropping to 3.88 million in 2030.
Although the United States is recovering from a surge in Covid deaths, the country still ranks far behind other developed nations. Even taking into account the recent increase in life expectancy, countries such as Japan, France and Sweden rank much higher.
Although more Americans are reaching this milestone, experts warn that they may not live as long as their predecessors.
A 2023 report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compared life expectancy and a host of other health metrics in 48 developed countries between 2019 and 2022.
The United States’ life expectancy of 76.4 years places it in 34th place (15th from the bottom) and well below the OECD average of 80.3 years. This marked it as the worst of all developed countries.
The report found that the United States fell behind countries plagued by crime and violence, such as Colombia, which has never surpassed the United States in OECD reports since it began to be included in 2015.
Researchers attributed low life expectancy in the United States to rates of obesity, heart disease, alcohol consumption, smoking and diabetes.
Additionally, increases in suicides and homicides, plus a five-fold increase in drug overdose deaths over the past decade, driven by an increase in fentanyl contamination, have also contributed to the decline.
The Covid-19 pandemic was also largely to blame, although experts warned that the United States took longer to recover than its peer countries.
Dr. Elizabeth Arias, a researcher who worked on a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said it will be “some time before we get back to where we were in 2019, before the pandemic.”
However, the CDC report showed that life expectancy in 2022 increased slightly from 76.4 to 77.5 years.
Life stressors could also explain declining life expectancy.
For example, more retirement-age Americans are still working.
According to a report by Pew Research CenterNearly 20 percent of people over 65 were employed in 2023, nearly double the number still working 35 years ago.
Richard Fry, a senior Pew researcher who worked on the study, told the Wall Street Journal: “More people are working and they tend to work longer hours.”
It estimated that nearly two-thirds of employees age 65 and older work full time, up from nearly half in 1987.
Additionally, a 2022 study found that the divorce rate among people over 65 has more than tripled since 1990, which could lead to more stress.
However, CDC research also found that more people age 65 met federal physical activity guidelines in 2018 compared to 1998, which could lead to longer life expectancy.