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More Social Security at 82

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

John Turner, who runs the Pension Policy Center in Washington, D.C., thinks he has the answer to making Social Security solvent and a more useful factor in our retirement planning.

Turner, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, turns 62 in a week. He recently wrote a book on the future of Social Security in which he outlined two steps that he believes Social Security's reformers should take.

Raise the initial age of eligibility to 63. The benefits that you would get at 63 would be the same as you would get at 62, although contributing for an extra year would raise how much money you'd receive. "People are living longer and healthier and their work isn't as physically demanding as it as in the past, so for many people, it is possible to work a little longer and still have a nice retirement," Turner says.

Add an old-age benefit. This extra blast of cash would kick in at 82 -- just as many people's other sources of income begin to run short, hit by inflation and their increasing need for health care. "It isn't that expensive a benefit because it starts in old age -- and not everybody ends up living that long. It could be limited to people who really need it," Turner says.

Turner, whose book is called, "Longevity Policy: Facing Up to Longevity Issues Affecting Social Security, Pensions, and Older Workers," says even talking about Social Security is difficult because it is so politically unpopular. But he thinks his solution could win hearts and minds because it won't raise taxes and it wouldn't take effect for 27 years -- the first people to benefit are now in their 30s.

Turner himself has no plans to take his retirement anytime soon. "I like to work. And I think as long as you're healthy, work has a place in your life."

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August 01, 2011 at 5:44 am

I seem to notice that everytime someone is wanting to raise the age for ssi they are well to do. If they knew what the world was really like for the really poor they would shut their mouths. Even though they say there is no age discrimination that is a lie. I only wish those who have had a prosperous life could actually have to live like someone with nothing Im sure they would change thier mind. J Edgar Hoover set up the ss system for the people, so when they retired the people would have something to help in their older years but all the special intrest groups have bled the ss dry. It was made by the people for the people not for some congresman or senators pet project. If the goverment would quit throwing the money away there would be plenty in the coffers for the americans who have lived here all their life and put into ss since they were 16 yrs old like myself. God Bless America

al doty
August 01, 2011 at 1:55 am

Wouldn't be any problem with sicial security if they didn.t take it out of the seperate fund that it was in. And gave money out of it only to those who paid in to it. I paid for it for 45years yet they only count 40 qts. fix problems .
1 cut all foreign aid nothing to anybody if we are in the red.
2 fix gas prices at $1.50 per gal. we pay only $ 55 a barrel thats all they get. pump our own oil ,drill in tundra.
3 hit the oil co. for thier ripoff on gas 90% tax on profit.
4 congress and senitors have to cut thier staff by 50%
5 remove comgress and senitors from thier current retirment plans and piut them on medicare and S.S.
6 shut down all forien milatary bases. aur aircraft can reach anyplace in the world. So we don't need our money over there.

Jim Granack
July 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I retired at 65 most of my life earnings were taxed by soc sec at approx 15% because i paid as a sole proprietor. I paid both employer and employee soc sec taxes The taxes were paid BEFORE deductions. and i paid the max for appro 35 years and when i was working for some one else for my8 years i paid the max.. REMEMBER THIS It was before ANY deductions!! I figured out wit compounded Enterest of only 4% iwould have had close to $750000 thats thousands that i could invest at 5% . figures out at approx $40 thousand a year an d STILL have my $750 thousand. I had 2 brothers and one sister who died between 55 and 65 and got NOTHING back.. I deserve every peeny i am getting and probably a lot more

July 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

Mr. Turner doesn't know a thing about Social Security. People who retire at 62 get 25% LESS than what they would get if the waited for 65 or 66. And if you work until 72 you get a higher benefit.

As for means testing... yeah, that's right, let's make Social Security really a welfare program and then its enemies can really hate it and pare the benefits back to poverty levels.

(I guess it's that connection to the University of Chicago -- it makes you think everyone has a trust fund or an elite think tank job.)

July 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

1. remove the cap on wages determining the contribution (keep the cap for the employer), in other words make it a flat tax
2. means test for receiving benefits (it's not a 401k, it's a social program)
3. problem solved

George Miller
July 07, 2011 at 1:30 pm

How about a tax on american manufactuers who get their goods manufactured off shore and then inport that product to sell here in the usa

July 07, 2011 at 2:34 am

bonjour comment porter vous j ai un appa

July 06, 2011 at 6:32 pm

This idea is awful. I’m 52 and out of work 4 months now. I have no problem getting interviews. It seems to get a job I must accept a lower wage. I thinking working to mid to late 60’s will be a challenge. I also have health issues and would gather that they will be more of them as I get older. The fact is Government raising the age is nothing more than paying less money. People can only work as long as they can due to health and the economic picture. I’m actually surprised that Bankrate is floating or discussing a reduction in benefits for our elderly. I thought they support the common man. My thought is if you want to make social security right, fund it. We can start by cutting out other expenses. How about reducing Foreign Aid to Foreign Countries especially ones that hate us, and end the war which will cost us 4 TRILLION Dollars. That is a good start. If you want money we can start by turning Politicians upside down and shaking them up. The fair thing if we are going to point a finger is to make Government FED, State and Local pensions be on parity with Social Security.

July 06, 2011 at 11:06 am

No need to raise the age. Perhaps we need to stop providing aid overseas and take care of our own. The war will cost us 4 trillion. No need to burden older people. Look to make cuts elsewhere.

July 05, 2011 at 7:34 pm

"as long as you're healthy...". So what safety net is there for people who aren't healthy? Who can't sit for very long, stand for very long, lift heavy objects, are getting mentally foggy, have strong arthritis pains in hands, and are generally grumpy because of ongoing pain issues. Who can't work a full day all the time, and have to take frequent time away from work because of medical appointments.

Some people can do some work, but because of their disabilities, age discrimination and a poor economy, are unlikely to find any job for a lasting period of time.

What do you do for people like that? I agree that many people hit the age of 62, and take Social Security just because they can. Others are hanging on until age 62 because of the difficulty of getting any disability payments, and the length of time it takes to get approved. And because they have shame about the concept of being disabled.

People who hit 82 have already made out well by collecting Social Security for a number of years longer than their sicker peers that died early.

While there may be some point that the oldest seniors have depleted all their savings, this would only make sense to me if they got paid less social security in early retirement because of means testing and their savings.