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The Graying of America Of the total federal expenditures in 1995 Social Security together with Medicarefederally founded health program aimed at helping the elderly founded in 1965 was the largest accounting for about 34 percent In 2005 this figure is predicted to be as high as 39 percent This is caused by the graying of America and the increased number of elderly who will collect benefits for a longer portion of their lives coupled with a reduction of the number of workers available to pay for their benefits Increasing costs of living and higher standards of living as reflected in higher wages also are consequences In short if no action is taken in the interim by approximately 2013 the federal government will have to raise taxes increase the debt print more money reduce Social Security benefits immediately or do some combination of those things to rectify the Social Security cash-flow imbalance The surplus will be gone The amounts needed by the Social Security system even in the early years are not insignificant In 2015 experts believe that the government will have to find approximately 57 billion to meet its obligations By 2020 the number will have grown to 232 billion The demographic makeup of America is changing The share of the population over the age of 65 will continue to grow well into the next century Today approximately 13 percent of the population of the United States is over age 65 By 2030 that percentage will increase to more than 20 percent Even more surprising in less than 50 years there will be as many Americans aged 80 and older as there are now people over 65 People are also living longer In 1900 life expectancy was 47 at birth and if you lived to be 65 your life expectancy was suddenly 77 In 1993 it was 76 at birth and 82 if you turned 65 At the same time
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