Work. Most of us do it until the day we can hang up our hats to enter a perceived “golden age” of retirement. But what if retiring at age 65 means less money for the U.S. economy, already under the weight of years-long downturn?
That’s what economist Diane Lim Rogers is suggesting. Rogers notes that if the eligibility age for Medicare was increased just two years, from 65 to 67, annual Medicare spending would decline by 5 percent, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Rogers also argues that if the eligibility age for Social Security benefits gradually rose to 70 from its current range of 65 to 67, Social Security spending would fall by 13 percent. While raising retirement age may benefit the country economically, how would it affect people personally? For those who love their jobs, working past typical retirement age is also tied to mental and professional sustainability. For those who work physically intensive jobs, however, working beyond one’s mid 60s may not only be uncomfortable, but also unsafe.
Would you retire past 65? Should age eligibility requirements for the likes of Medicare and Social Security be raised or kept as is?
Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist, The Concord Coalition; author, “Working beyond 65 can be good. Is it right?”
Maria Henke, assistant dean, USC Davis School of Gerontology; president, California Council of Gerontology and Geriatrics