"Lots of Luck in Your Senior Year(s)."

February 17, 2023

"Lots of Luck in Your Senior Year(s)."

May 29, 2023

President Joe Biden has an odd language of aphorisms that’s both old-fashioned and unsettling. In his recent State of the Union address, he issued a challenge to new House Majority Republicans by saying, “As my football coach used to say: ‘Lots of luck in your senior year.’”

I’m not sure what he meant, nor did most other folks. The most common explanation is that seasoned veterans have used the phrase to signal the inexperienced that they’re running out of time to learn the ropes. Ironically, the most controversial part of Biden’s speech concerned his calling out some Republicans’ desire to sunset Social Security and Medicare (and, of course, replace it with something else, but who knows what?). Biden might as well have said, “You Republicans are asking seniors to pray for some luck from Washington.”

In sum, many countries struggle with the number of senior citizens living longer, funded by expensive entitlement programs. In some European countries, more than 15% of the GDP will fund these pension and health programs for older citizens (the U.S. is closer to 7%). It’s time to look for a better solution, including increasing the retirement age for workers, given how much global longevity has increased in the past half-century.

Let’s hope luck (and some sensible legislation) shines on us as we age.

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