My wife Macrine Nieva Jambalos Katague (for 57 years) turned 78 years old the other day. Thanks to all who extended their birthday greetings via FB and especially to Dr Celia Roque for her personal call. We did not have a big party as she requested. However, we have all the close relatives for lunch. We have pancit, egg rolls, fruit salad, leche flan, buko pie, empanada, spaghetti(no sugar)and the chiffon birthday cake with number 78 as the decor. Her birthday reminded me of the article I wrote 2 years ago as follows:
Last Sunday, Macrine ( my spouse of 55 years) and I attended a birthday celebration of one of our oldest couple friends here in Northern California. The couple are both retired physicians and are celebrating their 85th( wife) and 90th(husband) birthdays as well as their 57th Wedding Anniversary. The last time we saw them was in the mid 1980's, although we received Christmas greetings from them annually. Thus, we were delighted to be invited and are still healthy enough to attend. This is an example that senior citizens are still a major boost in the economy of the US.
The party was held in the 14th floor of the Hilton Garden Hotel in Emeryville, California. There were about 100 guests about 90% senior citizens. The party started with a Thanksgiving Catholic Mass and followed by a lunch reception of either filet mignon or salmon steaks. At the party we also had a chance to get reacquainted with several of our former couple friends and neighbors in Pinole who were members of the Filipino-American Association and also friends from church in the mid 1980's. Of course all of them are retired.
The couple celebrant have also a similar lifestyle with us-that is they are also snow birds. Like us, they spend their winter months in the Philippines. What was outstanding was the entertainment after lunch that children and grandchildren offered to the guests. I was also surprised that both couples were still lively and strong. Not one of them needed assistance in walking and none of them had suffered a serious illness. Their goal is to reach their 100 birthdays. I have a feeling, they may be able to achieve this goal. Incidentally, the nonagenarian celebrant is our compadre. He is the godfather of our youngest son confirmation about 40 years ago. Our son is now 50 years old.
I also got to chat with another guest who was our former primary-care physician in the 1980's. He told me, he is still working part time and still a practicing surgeon part time that is two times a week. I am a little envious of his situation since we are about the same age.
It was indeed fun to reminisce our younger days. The above experience reminded me of the following article I am reading today from CNN money magazine as follows:
Retirement age must rise - OECD By Emily Jane Fox :
Gradually increasing retirement ages may be the only way governments can keep up with people living longer, a report said on Monday.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As life expectancy continues to rise, a new report suggests that governments need to raise the age of retirement in order to keep up. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said that by 2050, the average woman and man can expect to live roughly 24 and 20 years beyond retirement age respectively, up from 20 and 17 years in 2010. At the same time, retirement ages across many countries have stayed the same.
Without a change, the Paris-based economic think-tank said governments won't be able to pay for more people needing retirement funds for longer periods of time. "Extending working lives in a situation of slowly growing or declining workforces should provide an important boost to economic growth in aging economies," according to the report, which was released Monday.
The United States could use a boost. Social Security has already begun paying out more in benefits than it takes in from workers' payroll taxes. The trustees of the Social Security program reported in April that the program projects a $165 billion deficit in 2012. Social Security could pay promised benefits in full through 2033, the report said.
Raising the full retirement age gradually to 70 years-old could help plug this deficit by reducing Social Security outlays by 13 percent, the Congressional Budget Office reported in January. "With the fact that people are living longer, they should be partly responsible for meeting the cost of longer life expectancy," said Juan Yermo, head of the private pensions unit at OECD.
Today, the full retirement age in the United States is 66, up from 65 a decade ago. It is scheduled to increase by two months a year starting in 2017 until it reaches 67 in 2022. Meanwhile, 62 remains the age at which those who retire early can collect a percentage of their full benefits. The OECD suggested, however, that "67 or higher is becoming the new 65." "Extending the period over which you're contributing to the pension system would be less of a burden for everyone," Yermo said.
When will you be able to retire? Experts say that the benefits of keeping people in the work force could spread beyond social security.
"People today in their sixties are not only living longer, but they're healthier," said Don Fuerst, senior pension fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries. "They can be a productive part of our society, and our economy needs for them to be productive. They could give our economy a boost."
I can not end this article without telling you that I did asked my octogenarian and nonagenarian friends what is the secret of their longevity: They both answered: We tried to be active both socially and physically and we never stop smiling...