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No Social Security until age 65?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

I've already made up my mind that part of my retirement planning is to continue typing on this keyboard until my fingers don't work anymore. So I'm inclined to believe that a proposal from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to get rid of the option to take Social Security at age 62 is a good idea. The report advocates raising the first opportunity to claim benefits to full retirement age -- 66, rising to 67 in about 2020.

The author of the recently released report, Andrew Biggs, a scholar in residence at the institute, outlines these advantages:

  • Prolong the life of the Social Security trust fund by five years, a modest but significant increase.
  • Raise median income of older Americans by $7,500 a year, including both increased Social Security benefits and savings and other pension income.
  • Boost gross domestic product by about 5 percent through increased productivity, adding billions to the economy and tax revenues.

Biggs says keeping people working until 66 or 67 isn't a physical problem for most these days. He points to another study by David Cutler, a Harvard researcher, conducted for the Retirement Research Center in Boston, that concluded that 65-year-old men have the capacity to work 90 percent as hard as men in their late 50s, and work capacity only declines to 70 percent at age 75.

So Biggs says to keep most people who were born in 1952 and later on the job for another four or five years, while continuing to make Social Security disability available to those who are physically or mentally unable to work that long.

Biggs would offer one big concession. He suggests reducing significantly or eliminating Social Security payroll taxes for people who work and contribute to Social Security longer than 35 years, because the formula for calculating Social Security doesn't reward longer service. "The median individual receives only around 2.5 cents of additional benefits in exchange for $1 of additional taxes at the end of his work life," he writes.

Eliminating payroll taxes would "sweeten the pot" for those asked to work longer, he says.

That would make me lots happier. How do you feel about it?

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Darrell Brandt
December 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

We have a problem with Social Security. As I see it we are giving money to people way to early. Retirement age should be raised to age 70. All people should be required to pay, including government employees. That includes Congress. No one should be exempt, and there should be no maximum limit on income.
I'm 79 and still working and paying in to the fund. Our biggest problem are the people that make the laws and then exempt themselves from the laws they passed.

December 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

What about the lazy people who don't work and live on Welfare should they get Social Security?

I don't think so!! Just SSI !!

December 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm

SS isn't an investment so shouldn't be judged as such. For the disabled SS is welfare, for the eldery SS is relief. The people receiving benefits today borrowed every penny they contributed to spend on the luxuries enjoyed by the richest nation the planet has known. The money borrowed, and spent by today's recipients is being paid back by workers of today. It doesn't matter how many working years are credited toward future benefits, the people who borrowed and spent their past contributions demand that they spend it again.

December 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Doing manual labor and just returning from a survere broken leg, not knowing whether i would be declared disabled, and collect that from my social security and state retirement plans almost make me think that was a better options than continueing to work with a servere limp to 65, iam 50 know and could retire from my state plan at 55, with the full 30 years and have half my insurance pd but still, leaves me paying close to 300.00 a month just for half to i reach medicare age, which would add 10 more years instead of just 5 years and 15 years, instead of 12 for and social security monies, cuts options to a minimum, less money payout at 62, or, and 1% increase in ss payroll taxes is fine with me for more flexablity, for me and millions of others.Thanks

December 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Oh Please! If the economy was booming, we would hear nothing about this. Why is it that the people have to be the ones to always "sacrifice"? It's about time the government PAID BACK all the IOU's for the trillions they STOLED out of Social Security. Also END these stupid wars and we'll have plenty of money.

December 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I have done hevy labor and factory work for 40 of of my 55 years. My joints are shot. Arthritis and Bursitis have set in. Am I supposed to work in major pain the next 11 or 12 years. By that time I may retired to a weelchair the rest of my days? And those of you out there know how hard it is to even get a job after 50. All raising the retirement age is going to do is cause more and more people to go on disability till SS kicks in.The human body can only take so much. Keep it at 65 where it was ment to be. If you can work till your 70 great for you but most folks will not be able to.

S Bullock
December 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

When U have worked from 14yrs.or younger why should U have to wait,until u are 65,we need it now.And by the way The Big Old $250.00 death benefit for 1 spouse is a JOKE! Cut that out and add to SS,that would help. But dont increase age,it's hard enough,and folks who need to come out of work place at 62 some need before,they are stuck,can't get any help,fall between the cracks.
Gov,needs to work on real problems,JOBS,BETTER WAGES,EDUCATION S.S is a drop in the bucket!!!!!.NO AGE INCREASE!!!!!

Stop trying to be big dog and fix our own backyard,New Orleans,showed we are not as big as we thought,clean and rebuild there, could create thousands of jobs there,I'm just saying,DAH!!! more jobs ,more SS.

My thoughts only!!!

December 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

At age 58 I was part of a downsizing effort at my company. After 40 years with them, I am now piecing together the rest of my life with part time jobs (no full time jobs available in this market for what I do) and counting the days (1238) to age 62 and Social Security. Please don't take away the one shred of hope that has kept me sane over these past 8 very difficult months.

December 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

I can see raising the minimum age but in return, maybe requirements for social security disability could be less strict for people 62 and older. A higher minimum won't hurt many in white collar jobs, but there are a lot of people out there in say construction, maintenance, and other outdoor and manual labor jobs that simply wear out. Many of these folks have been looking at 62 for social security relief.

Mitchell Waldman
December 24, 2010 at 11:10 am

Why not 70 or 80? Hell, by the time I'm set to retire, they'll raise it another ten years. Sounds like Catch-22 to me.