Waiting Until 69 to Retire
Senators are reportedly considering raising the retirement age to 69. Currently, Americans are eligible for Social Security at the age of 65, with that number set to rise to 67 for those born in 1960 and later.
Raising the eligibility age for Social Security really should be part of any commonsense solution. In 1940, the average life expectancy was under 64 years while right now it’s around 77 years. Even more importantly, in 1940, those who reached 65 years of age could be expected to live another 13 years. Now that number is nearly 18 years.
The longer we live, the more Social Security has to pay out. But if we’re living longer, shouldn’t we be able to work longer? After all, most of us now do work that isn’t labor intensive and which we can continue to do even with diminished physical capability. For those who perform strenuous work which they may be incapable of performing by their mid-sixties, surely Social Security’s disability provision could be used until they reach retirement age.
Privatization arguments aside, raising the retirement age would be an incredibly fair and effective way to begin solving the problems with Social Security. It’s not a stand-alone solution, but it should be part of any reform package.