• Zombie Life Expectancy Arguments – ctd.

    A commenter looked at the chart showing that life expectancy at birth was decreasing in some areas of the country, and asked for life expectancy at age 65 instead. I replied that I lacked the data.

    Well, an eagle-eyed reader* sent me the following two charts. This is female life expectancy at age 50 by county:


    And this is male life expectancy at 50, by county:


    The darker areas are places where life expectancy is shorter. I hope you’ll see that there are tons of places in the South where life expectancy at age 50 for men is 25 years or less. This means that men retiring at age 67 instead of 65 would lose 2 of their 10-years-or-less of benefits. It’s not much better for women.

    Bottom line – there are huge disparities for how many years we get to use Medicare. Everyone isn’t getting older equally, and raising the age of eligibility affects some far more than others.

    Here is a link to the full report, “Geographic Differences in Life Expectancy at Age 50 in the United States Compared with Other High-Income Countries“.

    *This was sent to me by Fred Zimmerman, who I’ve known since my Seattle days. Here’s a paper of his that you must read. Here’s a video about that paper.


    • A request for more nuance: Can you separate this by race?

    • This just shows how perverse our welfare for the elderly programs are. We are told that the SS system exists because some would be destitute in old age without it. That should be reflected in the structure of the program. We have all been scammed by the SS system for long enough. IMO one sensible thing to do is to end FICA (FICA is not a tax but a “contribution”), fund Social Security though taxes and pay all retirees the same amount.

      Of course even as bad as the program is I have read that even considering life expectancy that the poor get a better return on SS than the rich do. I tried to find a link but for this but could not.