In an essay for Next Avenue, Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, writes passionately about the need to combat ageism in the U.S.

Programs like Social Security and Medicare help ease the transition into retirement and improve the likelihood that seniors will be financially and medically secure, but it’s not right, Richtman writes, to pit the needs of older people against the needs of young people during budget talks.

It’s up to government leaders to address ageism with policy. They must ensure that all retirees and their families, present and future, have ample and easy access to health, income and job security, community supports and a robust aging network that offers choice, independence and dignity.

It’s not like we didn’t know the boomers would retire someday. America built schools when this growing demographic was young, houses as it matured and large surpluses in the Social Security Trust Fund in anticipation of its retirement. However, now that 10,000 boomers turn 65 each day, the graying of America is too often presented as simply a drain on our national resources and — even worse — used as an opportunity to pit generations against each other.

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