Deserving poor or greedy geezers? The debate rages on. In a period of huge government deficits and the impending retirement of some 76 million Baby Boomers, understanding the economic, political, and social issues related to the aging population is paramount. The policy debates have never been more contentious; they range from deciding who should receive limited subsidized housing and medical services to the ongoing battle over saving Social Security and other entitlement programs. If the doom-and-gloomers have their way, the elderly will be put out to pasture, with inadequate health care and financial resources, and a crumbling social welfare infrastructure that will implode under the strain of intergenerational conflict. This book debunks most aging crises put forth by merchants of doom and offers a new policy focus for our nation.
In Aging Nation, renowned experts in the field, James Schulz and Robert Binstock, agree that there is considerable cause for concern, but with a variety of sound policies and programs in place and smart individual choices, the elderly can prosper, and a demographic tsunami is not inevitable. Drawing from the most current data, the authors provide in-depth analysis of the nation's evolving private and public policies on retirement, faltering employer pensions, health care, workplace conditions, and entitlement programs, and consider such timely issues as poverty among the elderly, rejoining the workforce after retirement, Social Security and health care reform, and the rise of the elderly as a powerful political force. Dispelling popular myths and misconceptions that are perpetrated by politicians and pundits alike, they provide a comprehensive and balanced assessment of these issues and their impact on everyone, old and young.
A thorough, rich, and current work, this book is the most comprehensive resource available for students, policymakers, researchers, human resource directors, and in short, all who have a personal or professional interest in the essential questions facing the growing aging population in the United States. It examines changes in retirement patterns, problems of older workers, and the complexity of retirement preparation, as well as pension plan health costs and all the programs affecting financial security.
The Sixth Edition of the Handbook is virtually 100% new material. Seventeen chapters are on subjects not carried in the previous edition. Seven topics were carried over from the previous edition but written by new authors with fresh perspectives and brought up to date. Some of the exciting new topics include social relationships in late life, technological change and aging, religion and aging, lifestyle and aging, perceived quality of life, economic security in retirement, and aging and the law. There is also a greater emphasis on international perspectives, particularly in chapters on aging and politics, diversity and aging, and immigration.
The Handbook will be of use to researchers and professional practitioners working with the aged. It is also suitable for use as a course text for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses on aging and the social sciences.