In many countries, the proportion of older people is steadily increasing. Some think this is good, while others believe this is a problem for a country. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
40 minutes, 250 words at least.
A similar question appeared in a January 2018 IELTS Exam: Recent advances in medical science have resulted in increased life expectancy over the past few years. Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Another May 2018 IELTS Question: In some cultures, the old age is more valued, while in others youth is more valued. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Introduction: (Introduce the topic and MENTION the reasons supporting each view. STATE your opinion)
With increasing longevity of people, the proportion of older people is gradually increasing in almost all countries. While some people think the elderly are important since they have an extensive experience of various social systems, others believe this leads to loss of opportunities for youngsters and economic pressure on state’s resources. I agree with the former view.
Body Paragraph 1: (Why the elderly are important)
It is evident that the old people have a deeper understanding of social systems. They have spent a lifetime in a culture and, thus, have a deep knowledge of various rituals, customs, and traditions. Preserving these elements of a society is extremely important to maintain a unique cultural identity of a community. Otherwise, with the onslaught of western food, clothing, and language, people will lose their unique existence and will be assimilated into the western culture. For instance, while youngsters in India prefer wearing jeans and consume junk food at McDonald’s, the elderly preserve the Gujarati, Punj, bi and Tamil traditional dresses and food. Youngsters realize the importance of these items once they enter the mid-age.
Body Paragraph 2: (Why elderly are a problem)
On the other hand, a large percentage of elderly citizens exerts tremendous pressure on financial resources of the state. Since they have retired from service, the government pays them a pension without any economic contribution to the system. For example, the annual pension bill of Japan, one of the most aged societies of the world, has severely reduced the fund availability for other important areas such as infrastructure. Moreover, the elderly have strong work experience and many companies hire their services after retirement. This leads to fewer opportunities for youngsters. For instance, global corporations prefer hiring retired government employees to learn about government policy. This prevents youngsters from gaining experience in this domain.
In conclusion, I believe that though the elderly may adversely impact financial resources of a state and crowd-out the opportunities for youngsters, they are extremely beneficial to the society as they help build strong foundations of the society.
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