7 thoughts on “Forbes post, “How To Pick A Fair Social Security Retirement Age”

  1. I think we should make the retirement age flexible. Each year we look at the amount of money going out and the amount coming in. If out is greater than in, increase retirement age by 2 months. If money in is greater than out, lower by 2 months. Eventually, steady state will be acheived. As future situations change, it is self correcting.

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  2. Leaving aside the question of whether SS is a “social insurance program” or straight-up welfare, I think your article is meritorious. For all the celebrations around the low unemployment rate, I found phenomenal levels of age discrimination in the industry where I had an occupation. For all practical purposes, once my age started with a “5,” I was unemployable except in contract work. For what little it’s worth (very little), I have an IQ above 140, which is supposed to mean that I can learn just about any job in about as short a time as can anyone, yet I gave up on finding work by the time I was 55. Occupations in America are “siloed,” meaning that between demands for “experience” and specific academic credentials, thick walls surround every job above the level of stocking shelves in retail. Once one wears out his welcome in his occupation, there’s very little means of shifting to another, and anyone who claims otherwise is full of it. Gone are the days when a liberal arts education was table stakes for a wide variety of white collar jobs. I remain too young to even get early-retirement SS benefits, and am obviously even further from Medicare. Were I unmarried, and if I had failed to set aside a whole lot of savings while employed, I’d be destitute. With a B.A. (microbiology) and an M.S. (biology) I’d be stocking shelves beside the 19-year-old GED-holders. I don’t see SS as a solution to my own travails, but as you suggest, I think that pushing the retirement age perpetually higher kind of misses the point.

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  3. The article is correct that the ability to work is a more important consideration than life expectancy in determining a fair retirement age. But the article fails to take into account that that what is fair varies widely by profession. A roofer or landscaper should not have the same retirement age as a person with a desk job.

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