What Age Do You Think is Reasonable for Retirement?

The CEO of AIG has suggested that the retirement age, worldwide, is likely to go up to 80 years old. Is this too long to have to work before being able to retire with some of the money you've contributed to Social Security?

The full retirement age in the United States is currently 65 years of age. Limited Social Security benefits can be collected from age 62, but fears are that this can’t last much longer.

In fact, by 2009, Social Security updates mailed out to recipients already warned that, without changes to the law, by 2041 payroll taxes collected would only allow for 78 percent of benefits to be paid out.

With the current financial crisis, the need to address entitlements — and Social Security benefits — has been a big part of the conversation, albeit an issue many don’t want to tackle. Raising the retirement age has been one of the suggestions as a way to help deal with the problem, but it is one that carries with it political implications. That being said, the CEO of AIG sent shock waves around the world recently when he said the debt crisis is an indication to governments worldwide that the retirement age will have to move as high as 80 years old.

It was reported in Bloomberg that AIG CEO Robert Benmosche said, “That would make pensions, medical services more affordable.” He added it would keep people working longer and take some of the burden off the youth.

So what do you think? Is a retirement age of 80 too old? In light of the approaching Social Security crisis, what do you consider a reasonable retirement age?

John B June 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Retiring at 80 when the average life expectancy is closer to 78 sounds reasonable. Where do I sign up? Good grief!
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM
PLEASE don't make me wait until I'm 80 to retire! I was hoping to retire at 35! LOL!
Sharon Swanepoel June 06, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Maybe that should be retirement age in work years. Like dog years, those years sometimes go by much quicker for some than others!
Brian Crawford June 07, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Retirement age should be no older than 65. The body slows down considerably between 50 and 60. We may be living longer but that doesn't mean we're getting around any better as we age. What Thomas Paine (Common Sense) wrote 200 years ago still applies today: "I divide age into two classes. First, the approach of age, beginning at fifty. Secondly, old age commencing at sixty. At fifty, though the mental faculties of man are in full vigour, and his judgment better than at any preceding date, the bodily powers for laborious life are on the decline. He cannot bear the same quantity of fatigue as at an earlier period. He begins to earn less, and is less capable of enduring wind and weather; and in those more retired employments where much sight is required, he fails apace, and sees himself, like an old horse, beginning to be turned adrift. At sixty his labour ought to be over, at least from direct necessity. It is painful to see old age working itself to death, in what are called civilised countries, for daily bread."
Linda Labbo June 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I doubt if employers will continue to employ 80 year old people. So, it's either social security benefits or unemployment for many. In addition, Social Security will end up making money - Most of the people will die before they can reap the rewards of supporting the system and paying into social security for the entire span of their work-life. It's the government who will get those benefits.
Karsten Torch June 07, 2012 at 02:33 PM
While I will agree that 80 is far too old for me to be able to get at my money, what is failing to be mentioned here is that this does not say you have to wait until 80 to retire. This would just say you have to wait until 80 to get at social security. You can retire whenever you want. But even 80 is better than not getting it at all, which is where we'll be if we keep up the spending and keep allowing Washington to treat social security like its own personal piggy bank. I'm also not sure this would be the worst idea, as it would kind of force people to actually put their own money aside for retirement, rather than being allowed to just rely on the government in later years. Give people that extra incentive....
Sharon Swanepoel June 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I'm with you on that Karsten. If I'm still around at 80, I want to be relaxing somewhere near the beach - not working! However, as quick as 65 is coming up, unless my health checks out on me first, I don't see myself wanting to sit around and do nothing at that age. Working passed 65 is definitely in my long term plan. When I retire I want to be able to have enough money put aside to enjoy it. Waiting for that Social Security check just to sustain day-to-day life wouldn't work for me either.
Karsten Torch June 07, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Exactly. I may be working at 65, may not. Depends on mood. I'm really inclined to think no, as I can sit on a beach for long stretches and be content. However, we'll see what actually happens. But you also have other plans for your retirement, so aren't dependant on social security. Unfortunately, this isn't the way a large number of Americans are, and without social security they're going to be destitute. This is a large disservice our government has done us - setting up a plan and forcing participation, making it seem as our 'retirement' plan, when it's really nothing of the sort....
Shari McDonald June 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
This certainly is a dilemma. If someone had planned well and DID have funds set aside to live on between 65 and 80, great! However, especially with the way things are now, who's going to be able to do that? I am 67 and cannot live on social security alone. I was working an outside commissioned sales job, but couldn't make enough money to warrant paying the cost of gasoline. I am now in the process of establishing a business on the Internet run out of my home, so by continuing to work, I'll be benefiting the state and the federal government by paying taxes. One more remark: I experienced age discrimination twice by the time I reached 55. The corporations I was working for cleaned house by offering "packages" and almost all the people were those who were older (nearing retirement) and were at the higher end of their salary ranges.


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