'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.