Wall Street Journal staffer Greg Ip contributes this piece as part of an extensive special report the Journal is doing on global demographics, and the effects people patterns will have on markets, institutions, and society over the next several years.

Ip reports that the past couple of decades have defined an era for high savings (among pre-retirement Baby Boomers worldwide) and declining fertility rates. Well, inflection point, here we are. Ip writes:

When people retire, their income drops much more sharply than their consumption. As a result, they stop saving and start drawing down the assets they’ve acquired during their high-saving years. That could start to put upward pressure on interest rates and downward pressure on stock prices.

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