When Social Security was created, life expectancy was lower than the retirement age of 65, Now, are life expectancy has zoomed past the Social Security retirement age of 67?
So, considering the financial crisis that Social Security soon will encounter, the pressing question is should we raise retirement age?
For discussion purposes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now puts U.S. life expectancy at 77.9 years (75 for newborn boys and 80 for newborn girls. Why do women live longer?)
The change raises some tough questions. Should people who have been taxed their entire lives for Social Security see their benefits reduced? We may already have an answer: When the S/S retirement age was raised in steps to 67, from 65, as part of an old rescue package, people seemed to accept it as necessary. At least old folks weren't tearing down the walls of Congress.
Another question: If the Social Security retirement age is raised, why not include people who already are receiving benefits? Personally, it would be very difficult if I and my wife had to give up the monthly payments we're now receiving. Such a move would be politically disastrous. And I'm sorry that I even brought up the idea.
There's an interesting discussion of this in the New York Times.
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