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No Social Security until age 65?

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
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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214 Comments
Dave
December 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm

How OLD is Mr. Biggs!!?

jb
December 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I was forced to take soc sec @ age 62 because of being let go from my job, after having a stroke. Due to the economy AND my age, I was unable to find other employment. Age discrimination exists, and blatantly! Proving it is next to impossible. If I had not been able to collect soc sec @ age 62, while the amount is less, of course, it would have been tragic to my husband and I, who had already lost our home due to job losses! Also, working in an office is difficult in ways tht are different from those with physical labor jobs; however, there is still a mental and emotional toll in working in an office and always having to 'play' politics!
Last, but not least, why is all of this happening, anyway!? It is the government's fault; they've been taking money for social security, illegally! Congress is guilty of overspending, not the people who are retiring! Many of us lost retirement funds due to companies' greed and mismanagement! Why mess with social security, in addition to having the funds stolen from it?
Congress needs to look at cutting their spending, period! Why punish the people who worked for so many years to make this a great country? We have 'paid our dues.' Let us retire and enjoy life and relax for a while, 'ey?

Georgia Native
December 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

Don't FUGG with my social security. I'm 58 years old and want to work. In fact I haven't had a steady job since 2005 and i'm looking forward to get out of this madness at age 62. Now they want me to work till I'm 65. Why would I want to work in my old age when they didn't afford me the opportunity to work when I was younger? Social Security is the biggest Ponze Scheem going and I want mine before they run out or I croak. In fact it's more than a Ponze Scheme, it downright extortion when they force you to participate in it.

Gary
December 26, 2010 at 10:16 am

The article references the productivity level going down as we get older by certain percentages as if that is a concession for employers to keep the senior citizens working.
As I am 62 now and have applied for social security benefits to start in 2011 I can tell you that my employer has no less expectations from me than when I was 50 or 25.
While the idea of social security was to provide someting for the elderly who could no longer work, it is for me a way of retireing form the work force after 45 years of working and contributing to the funds. My idea is that we all should quit working at age 60 so that there is a place for the younger folks to 1) move up into our positions and 2) create a hole at the bottom of the work force to let a new commer in to start training.
Even though I said the employer expects no less from me than when I was younger, the reality is that it becomes much more difficult to cover up the fact of forgetfulness and those aches and pains that send me to the doctor more frequently. It is fortunate that the longer I work for a company the more time I accrue off for sick and vacation. Not everyone is in the position to take more time off as needed.
Younger people still working also need to take responsibility for their retirement wellbeing so as not to have to depend on social security alone. We as a country cannot afford to continue the path of ever increasing social programs. We must have compassion for our citizens who absolutely cannot fend for them selves, but if we make it too easy to obtain welfare, that just encourages other capable people of falling into the welfare system.

Rick
December 26, 2010 at 7:52 am

I really have to laugh as I read how people who have been paper pushers think its the right thing to do to push others to work to 65 or 70.Many folks have done physical labor and are worn out physically and mentally by the time they reach 62.To make them look at being forced to go on before collecting S.S. is most likely handing many of them a death sentence.Adjust the rates paid in a small amount upward,raise the cap on whats paid in and you could even reduce benefits some,and still let people slow down or stop working completely in dignity.It seems to me the number crunchers don't have the will to get the job done.Also all public employees,and government types(congressmen and senators too) would be rolled into S.S.,and their special plans would be abolished. Some how it would then be important enough to act on.

Jeannie
December 26, 2010 at 7:28 am

The only ones who would ever agree to raising the age is someone that has never worked all the years of their lives OR is young. Keep it up America and just as Rome fell so are we. The government is not for the people...that is quite obvious when you look at what their pensions and benefits look like compared to the American people. When you have 1/2 of the country supported by the other half something is wrong. Doesn't take a scholar to figure out when someone not working is making more than the one that does, we are in a crisis...

Curmudgeon
December 26, 2010 at 3:48 am

I favor the option of an heavily discounted early buy-out for those SS contributors who are permanently leaving the country.

This proposal would necessitate surrendering their citizenship and ALL rights and privilege of returning to this nation, but they would have a few thousand dollars as a grubstake for their new start in whatever country would accept them as immigrants.

It would be a good way to send our perpetual malcontents to anyplace they think might be a better place. Requiring surrender of citizenship and having No rights of return for ANY reason would make sure that people thought seriously about their options.

Jerry
December 26, 2010 at 1:02 am

Raising the retirement age is a joke. The majority of my work has been overseas due to the lack of well paying jobs and the expenses of living in the US. The problem is most companies in the Middle East have adopteda maximum age limit for workers of 60 years old. So how do we survive from 60 to 66 without work. Even if you collect any sort of retirement you can not file for unemployment. Illegals have more benefits than me, someone who has worked all his life and paid my taxes.

andy
December 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm

How come the people working for government can make a decision on SS retirement age?
They are not producing anything and they are not bringing any value to overall economy. Often they do not pay SS tax because they are on different system, system supported (paid) in 100% from your tax $
Social security is mostly for people working in private industries, and these people’s taxes support all the government, state, counties, cities and village’s employees. Teachers, police, firefighters and many others also are paid by taxes paid by individuals working for private industries.
Ironic is that all these parasites are retiring or can retire with the full or almost full benefits and pension after only 20 years of service. How come rests of us working very hard for private employer have to work until 66 years of age?
There should be only one system for all. All people should pay their dues to SS and all should retire at the same age.
However, if you want to keep a difference in retirement age between these groups, then only a person working for private employer should be able to retire after 20 years of service and all the parasites should work to 66+ with reduced pay and benefits.
You people are getting sc…. by your own government, your neighbor teacher or a person that is working as a county clerk.
But, all of them will tell you that they are working hard and they deserve it – you don’t.
All of them will tell you that they pay taxes – remember that their pay and the tax they pay are all from the money taken away from you in the form of TAX.

andy
December 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm

How come the people working for government can make a decision on SS retirement age?
They are not producing anything and they are not bringing any value to overall economy. Often they do not pay SS tax because they are on different system, system supported (paid) in 100% from your tax $
Social security is mostly for people working in private industries, and these people’s taxes support all the government, state, counties, cities and village’s employees. Teachers, police, firefighters and many others also are paid by taxes paid by individuals working for private industries.
Ironic is that all these parasites are retiring or can retire with the full or almost full benefits and pension after only 20 years of service. How come rests of us working very hard for private employer have to work until 66 years of age?
There should be only one system for all. All people should pay their dues to SS and all should retire at the same age.
However, if you want to keep a difference in retirement age between these groups, then only a person working for private employer should be able to retire after 20 years of service and all the parasites should work to 66+
You people are getting sc…. by your own government, your neighbor teacher or a person that is working as a county clerk.
But, all of them will tell you that they are working hard and they deserve it – you don’t.
All of them will tell you that they pay taxes – remember that their pay and the tax they pay are all from the money taken away from you in the form of TAX.