Carlos Slim Helu, the world's richest man, has been doing some thinking about the world's economic problems. And he has found a solution: Lift the age of retirement in countries where people are struggling and have the elderly work up to 11 hours three times per week.

Forbes reported that Slim, who is worth $69 billion as of March, told Mexican press that these nations should up the age of retirement to 70. Additionally, struggling nations should have people over 60 years work 10 to 11 hours three times per week. Slim said this kind of work schedule would enable the individuals to innovate, create and cultivate themselves.

He also said these countries should privatizing their infrastructure assets to help support their economies.

Slim is the owner of America Movil, Latin America's largest cellular phone network. He argued that today's retirement age was set when employees were working more physical jobs and people were dying as early as 60.

But now we live until 85 or 90, Slim said as reported by Forbes.

We live in the knowledge society, so knowledge and experience should be valued, he added. This is why a person's work life could be increased.

Idea Has Been Bantered Around

Slim may not be ahead of the curve on this one.

Last November, San Francisco Business Times reported that Wells Fargo said 80 is the new 65 for those who are looking to retire, if at all. The bank's survey found that 25 percent of middle-class Americans are thinking they won't be able to retire until 80. Similarly, three quarters of them think they will still have to be on the grind even after retirement.

The fact that the vast majority of middle class Americans expect to work well past the traditional retirement age has significant societal and economic implications, Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, told the paper. He wondered how this changing work habit will affect the younger generation in their job hunt.

In April, a Gallup Poll found that the average American expects to retire at age 67. That is up from age 63 a decade ago and age 60 in the mid-1990s, researchers said. The change in Americans' expectations is a result of the recent recession, the financial crisis, the housing bust, and stock market volatility, according to a report on the survey.


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