Americans Living Longer, Getting Larger

New government reports finds those 65 and older are earning more money but working longer

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

The good news for Americans 65 and older: You’re living longer, you have more money, and you’re more physically fit.

The not-so-good news: Folks from 12 developed countries have better life expectancies, you’re working more years to make that money, and you still don’t have your hearing or your teeth. Oh, and you’re probably fat, too.

NPR reports recent stats from the federal government show life expectancy for Americans is up six years, to 85, over 1980, but we’re still outlived by the Japanese, who make it to 89 on average.

According to the broadcaster, the number of poor elderly Americans is down, but more are working after they’ve reached 62. And, NPR adds, 41 percent of Americans older than 65 have trouble walking, cooking, bathing or doing other activities, a number that’s down from nearly 50 percent in 1980. However, almost 50 percent of men and about 30 percent of women have hearing loss, while 25 percent don’t have any of their natural teeth, and almost half of elderly Americans are obese, up from about 25 percent in 1990, according to the report.

In other words, we’re sort of getting better with age. Hey, that’s something.

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First Published Tue, 2012-08-21 20:55

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