Those of us in ministry, family advocacy, or any social service need to brace now for a demographic tsunami. Soon one of our presidents will get the career-limiting task of telling us what we’ve covered our ears trying not to hear for decades now — entitlements will have to be scaled back, retirement age pushed back, pension benefits cut. It’s like our politicians have been playing “Hot Potato” with a demographic timebomb. I’m afraid it will explode all over my daughter’s generation.
I’m worried for the folks who are approaching sixty right now. For sure, I am just as out of luck as they are in terms of traditional retirement, but I have more time to adjust to the change and accept the inevitable. I don’t expect retirement will exist, at least as we know it, in a decade. Of course, I would love to be wrong.
What I hope for as the silver lining out if all this is a renewal of the extended family as a social unit. I think it is a blessing that multiple generations may end up living together as a general practice again. 1950’s Family Value ideals aside, I believe something was lost with the rise of the Nuclear Family. But the transition will take some painful adjustment and require some preparation for those of us in ministry.