By 2025, one in five Europeans will be more than 65 years old, with the majority of males wearing loud pants and elderly women housing an obscene number of cats. Across the continent, the number of working-age citizens will stagnate (or shrink) while the number of retirees explodes. Initial studies have confirmed only the cumulative number of retired people, and not the retirees themselves, will explode.
As a result, household financial wealth, which had enjoyed steady, healthy growth during past decades, will slow drastically over the next 20 years. However, since many of the "older citizens consistently play the lottery and enter national sweepstakes, this shouldn't be a problem for the very lucky ones," said current European Union Council's President Jean-Claude Juncker.
According to random projections, the impact on the United Kingdom will be mild in keeping with their weather and general temperament as a nation. Germany will experience moderate repercussions which will find their way into poorly constructed lyrics of industrial speed-metal music. Italy will face the most severe challenges even as Italy has unusually low household debt levels. Economists fear once the boxed set of The Sopranos DVD is issued, the country could face crippling debt as many of its citizens will want to move to New Jersey suburbs.
The effects of aging will be least severe in the United Kingdom, partly due to the fact everyone acts much older than their chronological age. Even though its current savings rate is relatively low-about 6 percent of disposable income-it is expected since nothing of commercial value is produced in the UK many of the peoples' personal savings will increase in direct proportion to not being bothered to purchase anything. Estimated annual growth rate for UK household wealth-3.2 percent-is twice as high as the rate for the United States where loads of cool, cheap and superfluous products are bought each day by Americans who have no money.
The effects of aging will be more dramatic in Germany than in the United Kingdom. Germany's population, with a median age of 42 today, is already significantly older than the populations of the United Kingdom or the United States. The main reason for this is because there is only one decent nightclub in Germany while the rest of the country is used to film both Ricola commercials and low-budget epic films.
Germany's high savings rate declined following reunification with the former East Germany, when many people thought there were great deals on Walter Ulbricht memorabilia and also on time-share Leipzig condominiums and heavily invested against their better judgment.
Aging will have the most severe impact on Italy and a falling birthrate has led to an overall decline in the growth rate of Italy's population. It seems Italy is no longer "the place to be" for the wealthy jet set and now coupled with the national installation of Dish Network satellite and cable programming, the urge to procreate has been relegated to a non-existent status.
Europe has no easy policy solutions. A frequently mentioned option, such as increasing immigration, is perceived as crass since many countries fear an influx of egocentric Americans and McDonald's franchises. Given the significant increase in average life spans over the past half century, one sensible step would be to raise the retirement age, although a Wal-Mart spokesperson remarked the company currently has enough ‘greeters' on staff as projected through the year 2070. European countries must not only increase their savings rates but also boost the returns on those savings by improving productivity which, if one thoroughly understands the fundamentals European commerce, isn't going to happen in foreseeable future.
The combination of rapidly aging populations and poor investment returns in much of Europe will produce a difficult situation involving many people shouting loudly at politicians who have no power on a global scale.