Traditionally, retirement meant leaving a 9-to-5 job and living out your golden years. Social security income and pensions supported the retiree’s lifestyle. People retired from their job
but did not retire from their family.
Life expectancy throughout most of human evolution was somewhere between eighteen and twenty years. Life was short. By the mid-1800s life expectancy had reached the mid-thirties in the United States, and in 1900 it was forty-seven years. By the end of the twentieth century, life expectancy had reached seventy-seven years. It gained thirty years in one century—that’s unprecedented.2 The increase in life expectancy made family caregiving for elderly people more common.
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