The good news is that we are living longer. The bad news is that “we” describes an average. It turns out that the inequalities in income and wealth also show up in inequality in longevity. In the time it took the wealthy to increase their lifespan from 81.7 years to 88.8 years, the poorest saw their lifespan drop from 76.6 years to 76.1 years. This is partly exacerbated by the bureaucratic complexities of late-life health care which increasingly require sophisticated knowledge of the processes, sometimes requiring professional guidance – or at least sufficient resources to devote to managing and verifying paperwork.
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