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How high should the retirement age be?
June 14th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

How high should the retirement age be?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Get ready to work well into the golden years.

A new report suggests governments need to raise the retirement age as life expectancies soar.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says that by 2050 the average person will live at least 20 years beyond retirement.

Right now in the United States, the full retirement age is 66. A decade ago it was 65. And in 2022 it will go up again to 67. This is called a trend.

Problem is, governments pay a portion of people's retirement in the form of things like Social Security - and the longer we live, the more it costs to fund our retirement.

Social Security is already in deep trouble.

The trust fund pays out more in benefits than it takes in from workers' payroll taxes. It's estimated there will be a $165 billion shortfall this year and that the program will only be able to pay promised benefits in full through 2033.

Part of the problem is Social Security is an outdated system. Back in the 1930s when it was created, most people didn't live past 60. The point was never to pay Social Security to a retiree for decades.

Plus, experts say that working longer isn't only about paying more into Social Security.

They suggest people in their 60s today are healthier and can be a productive part of our society for longer.

Whether that's true or not, we better get ready to start working longer or move to France.

First thing their new socialist president did was LOWER the retirement age to 60, even though it will cost the government billions of euros a year. Another example of sound European fiscal policy.

Anyway...

Here’s my question to you: How high should the retirement age be?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Randy:
55 for people with real jobs like construction, firefighters, teachers, soldiers, cops, nurses, plumbers, and the people who build and maintain this country. 95 for people wearing suits in a cool building shuffling papers, doing credit default swaps, buying stocks, writing books at "think tanks", and asking silly questions like "how HIGH should retirement age be?"

Gary:
It could go as high as 85. The average life expectancy was about 60 years when Social Security was established and the average life expectancy now is almost 80 years. Retirement age should be a function of life expectancy.

Shiloh:
Jack, The success of a nation can be measured by how early its population can comfortably afford to retire. The more successful, the younger the aggregate age.

Mike in New Orleans:
The retirement age should be lowered, not raised. Open up the workforce so the next generation can get jobs.

Ivan:
It had better stay down at 65 until I get there!

Andrew in Pinehurst, North Carolina:
70 years old for almost everybody. 51 for President Obama.

Jayne in New Hampshire:
It doesn't matter. The average person can't afford to retire at any age.

Posted by
Filed under: Retirement
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    It should be 60, with full retirement benefits including Medicare at that time. Make room for our youngsters. Of course the Republicans will push it until there is no retirement collected from SS or medical benefits from Medicare. If they can't abolish it they'll just make it difficult to attain. Hating a benefit that they take advantage of reminds me of hating government that they'd do anything to be a part of. The disconnect is stunning, both for them and those of us who think it's a good idea to vote for them.

    June 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  2. Pete in Georgia

    Some in Washington would love to see it at age 75 or 80.
    You can retire from the military at age 38 or work dozens of jobs in the private sector and NEVER be able to retire.
    Our culture has become complex in the past 25 years where the word "Retirement" has so many meanings and circumstances that it's barely possible to define it today.

    June 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  3. jeffrey

    Hey Jack, i believe seniors are a valued part of our society and therefore should have their retirement age be lowered to age 60

    June 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  4. bob rudabagel

    Hey jack, writing from new mexico just gotta say i think the retirement age should be 70 years because them ole folk work real hard an it be a darn shame to see hard work got to wastin

    June 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    It isn't a question of retirement age anymore, it is one of will you be able to keep working long enough to get retirement. Older workers are finding it harder and harder to find and keep a job. I just hope I can work long enough to retire when I want to and not when the company decides I'm obsolete.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  6. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Because the number of jobs not done by artificial intelligence and robots will constantly decline, the number of human jobs should exponentially decrease until we reach zero in approximately 80 years.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Dave - Phx

    Since all the Tea Partiers got to retire at 55 I think that should be the age for everyone. They suck us dry and then want to change the ruels for everyone.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Shiloh

    Jack,

    The success of a nation can be measured by how early its population can comfortably afford to retire. The more successful, the younger the aggregate age.

    Shiloh

    June 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Jayne in NH

    It doesn't matter. The average person can't afford to retire at any age.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  10. June in the Smoky West

    Leave retirement age where it is. Fight to preserve social security and jail all those
    who voted to steal from it.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Boomer in Mo

    Considering thanks to the thieves on Wall Street mine is now 84, how about 84?

    June 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  12. Brad, Portland, OR

    If you ask the Republicans, it should be 110, or whenever you become a millionaire... whichever comes first.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  13. Doug Ericson

    I think it depends on the job. Anywhere from 60 to 70 seems about right. This isn't my strongest subject, so I will leave it at that.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  14. Randy

    55 for people with real jobs like construction, firefighters, teachers, soldiers, cops, nurses, plumbers, and the people who build and maintain this country. 95 for people wearing monkey suits in a cool building shuffling papers, credit default swaps, buying stocks, writing books at "think tanks", and asking silly questions like "how HIGH should retirement age be?". You know...the ones doing an hours worth of work and make a lifetimes worth of salary.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  15. jk in MN

    If you ask a Republican who supports the Ryan budget it's "Retirement? Retirement? What Retirement?" or work until you drop. I do think that changes are needed to the current funding mechanism of Social Security, starting with Congress not being able to use the Social Security trust fund for anything EXCEPT Social Security and Medicare expenses and second, remove the upper limit on the social Security deduction or at a minimum raise the cap level of taxability. With people living longer, it's right to raise the maximum benefit retirement age, care must be taken for those who have worked all their life and cannot work to that age because of health issues.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  16. Pete in Florida

    One of your more ridiculous questions, since an appropriate retirement age is different for everyone, based on personal circumstances and considerations. Fact is, Social Security funding is easily fixable – just raise the ceiling on income subject to FICA tax, and raise the tax by about one-half of one percent. Medicare's a much tougher nut crack, only real long term solution is to make Medicare available to ALL citiznes who want it, and charge each person appropriately for this public insurance program. Death Panels? We already have them – they're called the private medical insurance companies.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Gary in San Jose, California

    It could go as high as 85. The average life expectancy was about 60 years when Social Security was established and the average life expectancy now is almost 80 years. Retirement age should be a function of life expectancy.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  18. ivan

    It had better stay down to 65 until I get there!

    June 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. David of Alexandria VA

    Realistically, Jack, as we gain traction in better health care and better personal accountability for our own health, our average life expectancy should be about 100 in a couple of decades. If people save 10-15% of their income for their lives, they should have enough in their pile to retire at about 70 to not run out of money. There are lots of assumptions in this - the primary ones being that everyone plans to work until their pile hits critical mass and no one plans to be a burden on society because they lack the discipline to save and try to stay healthy. It's not progressive or conservative - it's just plain math.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I feel it should be no higher than 65 years old. Somehow I don't think it is right to work our senior citizens to death because of the stupid mistakes our government made. If it is raised then there should be a law that everyone must work until they're 65 including Wall Street and the 1%. That way they will know what it feels like to be worked to death.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Greg in Arkansas

    Since Congress has been raiding the Social Security Trust Fund for the past 30 years, in order to restore financial solvency to the system, the retirement age will eventually have to be raised to one year higher than the average life expectancy for the American worker.....unless people finally realize that you can't have your money AND spend it too.
    Tax and Spend.....or.....Borrow and Spend.......the only options in the real world.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  22. EdfromMd

    Never because the federal government spends so much who can afford it?

    June 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  23. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    It depends on a person's physical and mental well being. After 20 years in a classroom with special needs students I should be retiring NOW. But, financial as well as health insurance worries will probably keep me in the classroom until my "expiration date"...whenever that is.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  24. Jenna Roseville CA

    How high should retirement age be?

    When you are no longer able to work. For some that would be in their 50's, other's their 60's, and some in their 70's.

    Shouldn't it depend on health and ability not a number??

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    June 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  25. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    I think it depends on the job. people that perform daily manual labor get "worn out" a lot faster than those in a "desk job". a stock broker or insurance agent may be able to (and want to) work until they are in their 80's. a construction worker, truck driver, ect can probably NOT be able to do that.

    I'm a retired airline pilot and we used to have federally mandated retirement at age 60 which they recently raised to 65. I think that was a mistake and compromises safety. I know I was NOT nearly as "sharp" late in my career as I was in my 40's

    June 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Phyllis G Williams

    How high should retirement age be?

    Says King David "The days of our years are threescore years and ten"(Psalm 90: 10")
    70 years, means that the public should get time to repent and "fly away" (smile).

    June 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  27. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Well Jack, to coin a phrase, "It's getting Ugly out There". You've been tromping around the CNN halls for a while. How about if the rest of us follow your lead. After you retire...WHAT NO CAFFERTY FILE? Say it ain't so.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  28. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    If we shifted the economy from speculative capitalism to insured employee-ownership (with such firms providing financial services, including mortgages), then the retirement age would be when your mortgage is paid off and you have enough stable dividend income to replace your wages. The question then becomes not how high we must raise it, but how low can we get it. Of course, to ask these questions, the media needs to listen to libertarian socialsts rather than simply covering the partisan duopoly's horse race.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  29. John from Alabama

    Jack: Retirement age for social security purposes should be 70 years of age. People who are in their 20's are going to live longer than you or I, Jack. The top of the ceiling for paying into social security should be raised. IRA's should not count against your private pension or 401K. Allow a person who has an IRA a tax credit up to $5000.00, and let them have a 401K. Do not penalize someone for having both. Make savings more attractive for young people. Remember, social security is not a retirement fund it is a supplement for part of the total picture.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  30. ImALibertarian

    Retirement age should always be equal to the average life span – just like it was when the Social Security System's Ponzi scheme was first imposed on innocent US citizens.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  31. Allan Hanson

    Start at 70 and as Americans live longer increase it..

    June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  32. David in Mississippi

    The politicians want the age to be death. Really, do you want an 80 year old working on anything, a 70 year old policeman or firefightwer coming to help. 67 is pushing the limit for those of us that earn our living doing physical labor. Hey if you want to pay a 70 year old plumber 6 hours of labor to do a 30 min. job, just write the check.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  33. Bill of New Mexico

    You have hit on some people's solution to the social security problem.

    When Social security was formed under FDR, wasn't life expectancy about 60? Well, if this is your tract then retirement should be about 80.

    What this approach does not address is that corporations are cutting expensive employees loose. Employees who have been receiving promotions and good annual raises are being given pink slips at age 54. Walmart is a hell of a place to work out the remainder of your time before retiring to social security.

    The tragedy is is that too many Americans are not preparing for this short fall. But, can you if you are pink-slipped at 54? And Medical Health Cost! You don't get a Lexus because you can't afford a Lexus. Increasingly more of these medical procedures are un-affordable. Increasingly, insurance is paying less–much less. Expensive medical procedures will be beyond the 99%.

    I feel sorry. I feel sorry for myself. It behooves all you young people to take care of your health. Don't smoke, don't drink, and stay skinny.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  34. John E

    Jack

    The answer to that question depends greatly on how much age descrimination is a factor in their job or industry. I personally know people in their 60's who can work and contribute but due to age descrimination they don't even get a look for a job. As a result they have a choice of either early retirement or going bankrupt.

    As long as we have these mismatches between the private sector and the public sector, we will have problems. Social security can mandate what they want, but the reality of the private sector will dictate actual retirement age for a large percentage of people.

    John E
    San Jose, CA

    June 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  35. Ed from Texas

    Well, I'm 64. So, the retirement age should be 64.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  36. Susan-NJ

    One of the reasons we have so much business failure is there is no one on board with any experience-hit 50and out you go. In the old days there was someone around who had been through a crisis before and knew what to do-now no one has any idea. As long as someone wants to work and can do the job for all our sakes particularly in Federal Insured Banks they ought to be able to work and not made an offer they can't refuse and shoved out the door.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  37. Rich McKinney, Texas

    65 sounds about right to me although some get it as early as 32 or as late as 67. People contributing to social security at age 16 are paying into social security even before they can legally vote. By the age of 65 when a person is for the most part used up and spent they should be able to reap the rewards of retirement before they die. Not be made to work until death because of our governments mismanagement social security funds. Beginning in 2015 Social Security is estimated to be spending more then it takes in

    June 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  38. bonnie from NJ

    I don't see what is wrong with raising it slowly to eventually be 70 instead of 65. I am 54 and would have no problem with facing 66 or 67 for retirement if it meant making SS solvent.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  39. Mike S., New Orleans

    The retirement age should be lowered, not raised. Open up the workforce so the next generation can get jobs.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  40. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It should be whatever you want it to be. Republicans would like it to be nothing short of death, then they wouldn't have to whine about social security.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  41. David from Herndon, Virginia

    Doesn't matter. Who can retire anymore?

    June 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  42. Loren, Chicago

    Where it is now or lower. What they need to do is to fix Social Security by removing from those who receive benefits everyone that hasn't paid in. If Congress wants to pay those people benefits, then it should set up a separate fund and then there will be full disclosure of the costs of granting pension benefits to all of those people. It has been a gigantic fraud on the working people of America the way that Congress has used the Social Security Trust Fund to pay out money to everyone and his brother that Congress thinks that it should help. Social Security for people who earned it.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  43. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    Jack, the retirement age should be on a sliding scale. Those who have made the least, but have worn out their bodies trying to support their families should have the lowest age to retire. Those who have made a good deal of money, but have not physically toiled should have a higher retirement age. The "lucky" ones who have made it rich and are set for life can retire whenever they want. The only caveat, the "lucky" ones should not get a dime of Social Security or any other public funds.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  44. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, I'd say 69. That number represents many things to many people and, among them, is a realistic retirement age. With the baby boomer generation fast approaching, it would be the fiscally responsible way to prevent the demise of social security for years to come.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  45. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Since I'm already reitred it should be at least 70.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  46. William Manley

    Lower it to 60 for social security. For military personnel, after 20 years service soldiers should be able to collect retirement immediately from the DoD, then ssn @ 60. If senators & representatives get to collect retirement after 1 term, then soldiers should get 100% immediately upon their 20th year. Some only get 25% early.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  47. Riley ODay

    Exactly the age they said it would be when the first dollar was taken from your check. That number has been raised once on me already.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  48. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Simple math Jack. The lower the income, the higher the retirement age.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  49. 1grasshopper

    If you do it the way the government wants, you'd have to be dead to collect. Oh, and then it would go into one of their accounts.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  50. Curt in Avon, Indiana

    Sixty and out, Jack. With full benefits and a liveable pension. Move the dead wood out and make room for younger people in the workplace. Working until you are nearly dead is insanity. There is life after work, you should try it.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  51. Gurgyl

    60 only....yes, in India it is 55.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  52. Miguel Morris-Austin, Texas

    This is an easy answer to give. Retirement compensation should be based on need and not on age. I continued to work until the late seventies. I worked because it was challenging, productive, and fullfilling.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  53. chris

    it does not matter our generathoin will not be able to retire cause of the mess washington have caused laslast few decades we will work till death

    June 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  54. calaurore9

    Dr.Husband doesn't think he can retire until he's at least 70. Even, then we will have to kick the bucket by 90.

    Carol in NoHo, Mass.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  55. Rich McKinney, Texas

    It is up for debate as to weather social security funds were stolen or borrowed and never paid back by the government. The social security chest is empty except for a bunch of government IOU's. That is part of the reason why our national debt is so high. Our government is having to borrow the money from China and others to keep social security afloat. There is no money in social security because it has been spent. Our government has dipped into the social security well for so long that it is empty.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  56. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y

    If governemnt wants to pass laws to to compel people to work into their late 60's and beyond before they can collect on their Social Security they also need to pass laws to compel employers to hire people into their 60"s and beyond. What about construction workers and those others that do physical labor? By the time they're 50 their bodies are mostly worn out. Are they going to be required to retrain in skills suitable for working at a desk?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  57. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    One big problem here Jack. Once you hit 55 you are automatically up to be put out to pasture. It is damn near impossible for people in their late 50's or older to find any kind of job much less a meaningful well paid position. No sense raising the retirement age, the question should be can you survive between 55 and whatever the retirement age will become because you are unemployed and unemployable. In bad economic times, like these, most people will burn through savings, investments and retirement plans just to get to Social Security.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  58. j.torrey1@hotmail.com

    This is a simple one Jack. When you make your first $10 Million, otherwise you until you die..

    June 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  59. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    I guess it should be 30yrs old, since employers won't hire anyone older than thet.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Ken in MD

    The retirement age wouldn't have to change at all if Congress would make 3 simple changes to the plan.

    1. Remove the cap on income that is "taxed" for Social Security. Currently only the first $110,100 of income is used to calculate the deduction. Why?

    2. Put the "tax" on all income regardless of source. If you make your money from capital gains on investments, fine. But 6.2% will come off for Social Security (plus 1.45% for Medicare).

    3. Allow people to opt out of collecting from Social Security. There's no reason why millionaires should be forced to collect Social Security as they currently are.

    Those 3 steps would put a flood of money into the system and save it for future generations. But this won't happen as long as corporations and wealthy people make the laws.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  61. Nancy Lawrence

    It is not Bush nor Obama's fault, but, rather the United States has become a behemoth like Rome, Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Bye, Bye Miss
    American Pie.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  62. James Fisher

    Regardless of the retirement age set, I think it is wise to create a system that allows people to retire early, especially now that so many people are having trouble entering the workforce. Older workers (say, over 60) should be encouraged, in whatever way possible, to retire in order to open up opportunities for younger workers. The longer people work, the harder it will be for younger workers to develop careers. I am nearly 62 - I like my job, but would be willing to move into retirement with a little financial inducement. Although a longer retirement would cost more, the costs of locking people out of employment opportunities seems a much greater societal problem, especially in our current circumstances.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  63. RickFromDetroit

    The retirement age should be lowered to 55 like many suggested in the 1970's. This will dry up much of the workforce that is currently unemployed.

    Computers and robots are replacing human workers in record numbers, and in another 20 years we will have human free assembly lines, factories, and our offices will be controlled by computers that answer our questions and solve our problems online or over the telephone.

    This type of technology is great, but who is going to pay the unemployed humans and where will the consumer spending come from to purchase the machine made products. Twenty years from now I expect to have a personal robot roaming my house and doing my cleaning, cooking, house keeping and every other chore that I now have to perform myself.

    We need an economical system that puts the machines to work, while the people get paid, otherwise we will encounter an irreversible economical collapse.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  64. Jim Charlotte NC

    It appears that the consensus is until after you are dead. It does appear that it is now an Entitlement and we know how much they are hated.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  65. Phil

    Jack, if you have been smart, disciplined, hard working and not a fool with your money, you cloud probably retire at the age of 60. But for the majority of Americans who spend it as soon as they make it, I'm thinking probably 75.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  66. Mark A. Fisher

    This is not so simple to resolve. Women live longer than men, and whites live longer than minorities, so raising the age for Social Security benefits will have unequal effects by gender and by race. The affluent live longer than the poor. And what about a construction laborer vs. an office worker? Should the former have earlier benefits because of the physical toll of the job? Do thrifty savers who have money "not need" Social Security (even though their payments into the system were mandatory)? Look for all these issues to become political disputes in the decades to come.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  67. John in Houston

    Access to tax sheltered savings (e.g. 401K) should be at 75% of life expectancy.
    Government benefits (e.g. Social Security, Medicare) should be at 90% of life expectancy.
    Let the actuaries establish those targets as of the year a particular person turns 35 so they have sufficient time to plan their savings accordingly.
    And I'm not opposed to select professions (e.g. Firefighters, Miners) having earlier retirement ages to privately funded benefits - but those should be union or company funded and not government funded, and they should be taxed as regular income.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  68. Joe

    The retirement age for SS benefits should be somewhere between 5-8 years below the current life expectancy. As Jack points out, people didn't live to be 65 back in the 1930s, so very little was paid out and there was no "indexing" to raising the age.

    Given the current life expectancy of males (77-79) and females (79-81) and using the above recommended formula, the retirement age should then be between 73-75.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  69. Cheryl Jefferies

    That's because Medicare and SS are going broke. And, Obama's not doing one thing to stop it. Reagan stopped it. And, also made the entire economy GROW. And, it didn't take him 10 years (Obama just said recoveries take 10 years. Bull! Took Reagan about 10 minutes to reverse Carter's disasters. When are we going to wake up to the fact that we are going down-hill in this country at a rate never before experienced? And, never before reversed and reversed quickly.

    Americans of ALL economic strata have LOST 39% of our individual financial value since Obama began his rule. And, RULE, it has indeed been.

    Do you know what I've done the past 2 weeks?

    Started all the mechanisms for early retirement.

    Why?

    I simply want to keep what I have in my retirement/pension/social security. It has gone DOWN...the retirement pension plans I've paid into for 40 years...DOWN for the past 3 1/2 years worse than at any other time. 5% just in the last year alone.

    So, rather than risk it going any further, I'm taking it now.

    If Mitt wins, I'll regret that. But, if I can, I'll invest what I can, if any, then. And, it will probably grow, under him.

    But, if Obama wins, I'll end up...and, so will you...with a lot less. A whole lot less.

    And, he will NOT sustain the Bush tax cuts, either. So, we'll all take a huge hit then. Even his own people say Taxmaggedon is coming Jan. 1.

    And, so I do not DARE risk what little I have right now on any more of Obama. I DO NOT DARE.

    I have to live. If I can. And, I'm thankful I had jobs for as long as I did. And, that I have something left. Although, it could have been a good deal more.

    Thanks for nothing, Obama.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  70. Switters

    Social Security is not is trouble – we only need to raise the limit on the payroll deduction.

    This is how Ronald Reagan and Top O-Neil "fixed" social security in th 1980's

    Raise the payroll deduction – it's not "rocket science".....

    June 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  71. Anthony from Swedesboro

    Since about eighty most of us work in a thankless, low reward job under a dictator known as boss, I think forty five years is sufficient time worked in such an environment. Don't you think that's enough sweat and toil devoted to a company that doesn't give a hoot about you?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  72. josh

    This is spot on. SS retirement age should continue to increase about 1 year per decade to mitigate the funding gap.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  73. Jon B from San Diego

    Who cares. Let's get through 2012 first.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  74. Alan Martay

    Social Security should be raised 1 year for every 10 years. Max age should be 70 years .

    June 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  75. Geoz

    As usual, baby boomers will glibly use up the resources without regard for the rest of America. But that wasn't your question. I think we ought to keep moving it up gradually as we do better with aging and health. With a max of 72.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  76. Phil from Licking Co, Ohio

    Phil from Licking Co, Ohio
    Once I believed that retirement age should be 66 or 67 but now that I am in my late fifties, I wonder if I will make it that long. Some folks with desk jobs may feel differently, but my job requires me to be on my feet, climb stairs, and lift heavy objects. I have chronic joint aches (shoulder and knees) and tinnitus (ringing in ears). So, while I wish I felt good enough to work into my seventies, I doubt if I will feel up to it.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  77. Vick, Orange Park , FL

    People are living longer so the age must go up! You asked how much and state social security is in deep trouble. It should not be, thank congress for using it as a slush fund. I think every year it is rasied should shorten current elected officals terms by the same amount!

    June 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  78. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    Jack,
    It doesn't much matter what the retirement age is if no one over 50 can find a job.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  79. Annie in Grapevine, Texas

    Darn Jack– after working 45 years, don't you think a person actually deserves to retire? I know I'm about to turn 65 and am just flat worn out. Maybe if our welfare programs didn't reward people for NOT working, then maybe the government wouldn't be so strapped & could help fund social security.
    And as much respect as I have for our military (family full of "lifers" in the military), has anybody looked at what THAT retirement program costs! And they can fully retire around age 55 or earlier.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  80. Sirned

    Oh here we go again. Circle the wagons America. Wall Street wants your SS. Really Jack. This question is a scare tactic to raise the retirement age and we aren't fooled....Raise the cap not the age....

    June 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  81. Nancy

    I would have no problem with that if we who are over 50 could get jobs and remain productive without facing the rampant age discrimination that currently exists, I'd always rather have a job than SS

    June 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  82. Anthony from Swedesboro- corrected

    Since most of us work in a thankless, low reward position under a dictator known as a boss, I think forty five years is sufficient time worked in such an environment. Don't you think that's enough sweat and toil devoted to a company that doesn't give a hoot?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  83. JD

    I'm 24 and I want nothing to do with social security. I want to opt out and stop paying taxes for social security. Let me save my own money for retirement because I know whats better for myself than any buearucrat does.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  84. 411monk

    A cap on retirement age, means little without a cap on life itself.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  85. Lynn G

    Although we are living longer, it doesn't mean that good health accompanies that. Common sense tells you that laborers would hardly be able to do the same work as they did at a younger age. Would you like to see 70-80 year old highway workers shoveling hot tar in the summer heat? Those making those decisions are the ones whose jobs consist of sitting at a desk all day. At some point, it's time to say, we worked hard, paid our SS and taxes. We deserve to enjoy some part of our lives. You said, pay it and we'll give it back. Give it back. On a side note, when politicians talk about businesses providing retirement plans, talk to those who hire long term temps and contract employees. We have no retirement plans.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  86. Sheila

    If it's a choice between working longer or moving to France...we'll I'll work, thank you very much. Seriously though, it's difficult to generalize about how long a person should work. Some people are old and disabled by the time they are 65; others don't seem to age until their 80s. In my family, we tend live to be old as dirt and fortunately, keep our health until well into our golden years. My father is still working at age 80 and as yet has no need of any medications. He tried retirement. He lasted about four months before he was bored to tears. I imagine I'll work until 70 or so.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  87. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    It's a bit like the homeless guy on the corner holding up a sign that reads: will work for food. It's not gonna happen. Old folks are almost the same but they'll be working for healyhcare until they're pushing up daisies. Not everyone is healthy enough to work past 65 especially the super overweights.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  88. Mitch

    It doesn't matter to me. I will have to work until the day I die. I never had a job with a pension and with the way the market has wrecked havoc on my IRA and the housing market has me underwater on my house. I can't afford to retire. Chicago IL.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  89. JeffinIL

    Jack, we should all work until we die for our corporate masters. If we become unable to work we should be humanely euthanized. Our families with be charged with the euthanasia bill, of course.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  90. Gigi Oregon

    According to the sounds bites of the Elite Red party till death do us part...and when we can no longer pay taxes for the Elites entitlements, which the rich so covet.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  91. OBG

    There should not be a retirement age. We need to discontinue social security and get people back to providing for them selves and their families.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  92. Jack In Silicon Valley

    Being productive is good for a person's mind and body. So the scaling of the retirement age for full Social Security Benefits manes really good sense to me. What doesn't make sense is to scale it instead based upon our government's need for money.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  93. Sphy

    Lifespans are dropping. Retirement age should be 62.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  94. Chris Bastrop, TX

    Jack...Social Security is a ponzi scheme and is in no way a trust fund. There is no money in a social security account, but social security does hold IOUs in the form of T bills..So the government is borrowing from itself to pay social security, where's the fund. Pretty soon you will have about 3 people paying the retirement of one.

    To answer your question, there shouldn't be a retirement age or social security. If it is a trust fund, please return my contributions.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  95. Sherri

    I am concerned that being forced to keep employees longer when they are at their most "expensive" will hurt businesses...or that they will simply find ways to get rid of employees before they reach retirment age...

    June 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  96. Old School

    The entire concept of 'Retirement' is a modern construct.
    I could be mistaken, but I -think- it was in the 1950's that 'Retirement' came on the scene.

    Previously to that, we would keep working until we died or were physically incapable of performing our jobs.
    With all the economic turmoil, the merging of the middle and lower economic tiers, as well as the growing disparity between the upper and lower tier... I strongly suspect we'll be heading back to the old model: Work until you die or can't work anymore.

    How high should the retirement age be? As high as it needs to be for any given person to support themselves in their remaining years. Arbitrary? Yes. Yes, it is. But then, so is life.

    -OS

    June 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  97. Jane in CA

    First, your statements about how long people lived in the 30's is just flat wrong. The average lifespan was low because a lot of people died before they were 5 years old, from diseases we now vaccinate against. The lifespan of a 60 year old was only about 3-5 years less then than it is now, for the average worker. For wealthy people, add another 5 to 15 years.
    Second, social security isn't in dire straits. About a dollar a week per worker would supply 100% benefits for the next 75 years. The trust fund is supposed to be depleted. That is what it is there for.
    Third, good economic growth would even eliminate the need for any raise in the SSA rate. But the politicians are determined to eliminate growth for workers and give everything to the already wealthy. If they wanted to implement true growth policies, things would change. But they won't.
    If healthcare can be made available to all Americans, they might see an increase in lifespan similar to what the wealthy enjoy now. If that happens, they will probably work longer naturally.
    If the economy collapses even further, they will work until they really can't. Already we are seeing the effects of older workers staying in the system longer, where they can. Those who can't work, or can't find work are opting for social security just to stay alive.
    Where age related issues are relevant, industry usually has age limits in place, and everywhere else, people work as long as they want to. What is wrong with that?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  98. Truthbetold

    A reasonable response (based on what I've read and seen from most economists) would be to gradually ramp the retirement age up to 70 over the next 2-3 decades. I wouldn't mind seeing this be different for blue collar jobs vs white collar jobs but I'll admit I'm no expert at figuring that part of it out. It seems as though there should be some differentiation between those who work very physical jobs and those with desk jobs.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  99. todd in DC

    Leave the retirement the way it is (at 67). Raise the FICA tax back up to 6.2%, and remove the salary cap so all salary counts towards Sociall Security, not just the first 100 grand.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  100. elusively2

    If people are going to be living longer, then the age of retirement should probably be extended every generation. Yet, I think each case is individual. We may be living longer but that doesn't mean we will have quality of life. Many people will not be able to work more years due to health concerns. And most importantly, employers do not hire older workers. I'm 62 and haven't been able to find a job for 2 years. So while people may be living longer, if there are no jobs for us in society because we are discriminated against, what good is waiting until say, age 75 to retire? What will be able to live on in the meantime?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  101. Inciteful

    The HUGE gap here is that the government wants/needs people to delay their retirement, but does nothing to stem the tide of companies PUSHING senior (i.e., years of service) employees out the door at ever younger ages. Therefore, if you're over 50, your employer targets you to get you off the payroll while the government is telling you your Social Security payments (while they last) will be deferred until you're 66 or older. What am I missing? Once again, the middle class gets squeezed from both sides.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  102. Chad

    If they want to raise the retirement age, then congress needs to have to abide by the same rules. Getting a 6 figure pension for serving just a few terms is wrong.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  103. Kurt

    More TV journalism at its finest. How on God's green earth are you able to even contemplate this subject without putting it in the context of job scarcity that is only going to get worse? I guess you're thinking that by working to age 70 we'll all be able to afford to keep our kids in grad school until they're 30 so they won't need spots in the labor force? Just head on down to your local Wal-mart, Jack, and ask some of the folks there what they think of this logic... especially the septuagenarian greeters working 12 hours a week for minimum wage.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  104. Reason & Logic

    Jack, the problem isn't that healthy people who are past retirement age are receiving Social Security. If they worked all their lives and paid into the system then they deserve some benefits to help them do what they really enjoy, whether it's volunteering, taking up a hobby, starting a new career, or just plain kicking back. The real problem is that people who never paid into the system or who are not yet of retirement age are receiving benefits that they should not be entitled to but that the rest of us are paying for. Felix, Ashford, CT.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  105. Cheryl in Minnesota

    I'm not sure what a good age for retirement is, but if we continue to work longer are we staying in jobs that might otherwise be open for our children and grandchildren when they are ready to enter the workforce? Does this cause higher unemployment rates and isn't the government paying for that too? At least with Social Security we are putting some of our own money toward that.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  106. 3 Turtles

    No one should collect retirement benefits before the age of 68. We have firemen, policemen, teachers, state and federal employees retiring in their forties and fifties collecting retirement benefits. We just can't afford to do that anymore. It's bankrupting our states. I have a relative (a fireman) who has been collecting retirement benefits for 38 years. Some of these people never pay a cent toward their retirement. Yes, I appreciate their service but we've gone several steps too far with
    retirement benefits.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  107. Cathleen Seattle

    Jack- try being 60'ish and looking for a job right now.
    Raising the retirement age might be a good idea when the economy is doing well, but in a stagnant economy
    like we currently have, older workers are often the first to be let go, and the last to be hired. Age discrimination is alive and well in this country.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  108. Tommy

    This will ultimately raise another socioeconomic argument centered around healthcare. Lower income individuals still pay into social security, but will not receive the same health care as higher individuals. With that being the case you will end up seeing that some people never see a benefit from social security, but will have paid into it. Given the risk that our younger generation faces not even having social security available it should be an option to invest what you would be paying into social security into a qualified retirement fund. This could be done in exchange for removing a year or more of a person's eligibility from social security. This gives a person better control over the amount of risk they are willing to take on for their retirement.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  109. Joe

    Do away with SS entirely.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  110. Andy

    One problem with raising the retirement age and forcing people to work longer if you don't create more jobs then you will cause more unemployment for younger workders. That is if businesses will evne be interested in keeping 70 year old high paid workers on the payroll.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  111. David Cherolis

    The largest issue I see is Health Coverage. Health coverage for a 66 year old can be very, very expensive. As full time jobs with benefits continue their trend of drying up and retirement/medicare benefits get pushed further back we will see a soaring population of 60 somethings without health insurance, or with woefully inadequate coverage. But hey... 60 is the new 20 right...
    The second major issue is job availability for the younger generations. If you have people working a half decade longer than they used to you have less turnover in the workforce resulting in more people in the unemployment/welfare/food stamp lines.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  112. Bob in Pa

    If Congress had used the system as designed, maybe we wouldn't have run into these problems. Instead, they have extended benefits to millions that never paid into the system. Scrap the system and refund our Money.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  113. Carolyn

    Easy. Life Expectancy in 1930 was 59.7 years. So, they set the retirement benefit age at 60. It is currently 78.7, so the retirement age for benefits should be 79. I'm sure that will make people aghast, but really, is there anyone under the age of 50 that was relying on Social Security as a their only form of retirement? I was told 30 years ago that there wasn't going to be anything left when it was my turn to collect. If my baby boomer parents and teachers were telling me that, they had to have an idea that the pool was a little too shallow to provide for all of them solely and completely.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  114. brad

    Supposedly, you only get back what you pay into social security. With that said, you should be able to retire whenever you want, and once you use up all your social securtiy, you get no more, problem solved. Oh, and tell the government to not give to illegals, and to stop dipping into social securtity to pay for other things.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  115. Sheliah M.

    America should be progressive to move it to 70 years of age (since we are living longer and healthier) and ENCOURAGE and provide TAX stimulation to employers who hire FULL or part-time workers over 55....in particular...who CONTINUE to work and have taxes taken from their paychecks.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  116. Paul_I

    Your question assumes that all other facts remain constant. If payroll taxes stay the same the benefit formula stays the same, then the answer is retirement age should be high enough that the available taxes will pay the benefits. If we want to keep the current retirement age and benefit formula, then payroll taxes need to go up. If we want to lower benefits, then the payroll tax and the retirement age can stay unchanged.

    If you want to go back to the good old days of the Great Depression, then we can revert to an agricultural society, most people can work until they die, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest can be far greater than it is today, labor unions will start growing again, and World War III will be just around the corner.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  117. Scott

    Let's see, retirement age was originally (life expectancy + 5 years). If we raised the retirement age to (life expectancy – 5 years) we would instantly solve the issue of SS insolvency. Phase it in by raising it a year every three years until the numbers meet starting with everybody who is currently under 50. If you are 47-49, your retirement age is 68. 44-46 get to retire at 69, 41-43 get to retire at 70, 38-40 get to retire at 71, 35-37 get to retire at 72, etc. until we have phased in a sufficient increase (and as someone in my 30s, getting SS at 72 is truly more than I expect if the system remains unchanged).

    June 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  118. David M

    Sorry, but Social Security is not an outdated system and should not be in trouble. We do not need a higher cap on the retirement age. What we need to do is to remove the cap on the Social Security tax. Right now, any income over around $120,000 or so is exempt from the tax. This is regressive and needs to be removed immediately. That would likely make the system solvent for the next 50 years or so. If not, then a very modest increase in the tax rate would solve the problem.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  119. Jim - Ontario Canada

    The solution to the problem would be to encourage more seniors and retirees to take up smoking and drinking, bungee-jumping, sky-diving, scuba diving, shark-baiting, you know, let's live a little people! Why are there no semior's excursions to participate in Pamplona's running of the bulls, or Japanese log-riding races? Desperate times require creative solutions.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  120. Larry in Houston

    How high should the retirement age be? I agree with the fact that it IS an outdated system, but it seems like the government can't keep their hands off of it. They want to continue to borrow against it, or take a percentage of it for other purposes at one time or another. I know one thing for sure : a pension doesn't cut it. It only pays the elect / gas / water / or cable, that's it. If I din't have a part time Business, I would never make it. I would end up on some type of government assistance. It's a good thing my wife is still in the work force. I honestly can't wait til I'm eligible to draw it, even though it won't be much, because I paid into it for almost 30 years. I'm taking it as soon as possible, before they (our elected officials) tamper with it (again)

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  121. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I retired at 65 even though my company wanted me to stay on. I would have except my wife needed full-time care due to a rapidly progressing mental disorder. Had that not been the case, I cheerfully would have worked to at least 70. I don't think there should be an upper limit, but perhaps lowering it to 63 would open up some jobs for younger or displaced workers.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  122. Smitty49

    I turn 65 in October and have no intention of retiring before 70. If physically up to it, that should be the full retirement age. Allow a sliding scale for age-related disabilities.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  123. schaz

    The full retirement age increase has to be matched by increasing the early retirement age. We also need to find a different way to fund the non-age related support that comes out of the Social Security funds.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  124. Dave

    Gee 165 Billion short this year. That's less than what our president and congress stole from Social Security in the payroll tax cut. Social Security is an example that government cannot manage a mandatory retirement annuity for it's citizens. Spend today – pay tomorrow.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  125. John

    Our government owes us the respect and dignity of making a hard decision about Social Security immediately. I pity the people that have not planned for the trainwreck the lack of social security will make of their lives when they retire and will not receive an income because it ran out of money. The program will die, people will suffer needlessly. Determine an age, make the decision, and tell us so we can plan our lives. To do otherwise is on the verge of criminal behavior.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  126. wilson plowman

    Retirement should be at 60. Most of us (99%)

    June 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  127. Sam

    Haverhill, MA
    My retirement age will be 70... 75... 80... the day I drop dead while bagging groceries at my local supermarket.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  128. Jerry

    How about you research why Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Norway for example have such strong economies and great benefits and reasonable retirement rates. And also research how much of our social security was taken out by past congresses.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  129. J.

    Jack, there should be no "MANDATORY" retirement age, but... what happens in the long run? You have new people trying, and I do mean TRYING to get into the work force, but you have folks that either wont or can't retire. What do you do with all the young people?

    Another take. Want to create oh one to three million ( yes MILLION) jobs? Then some kind of early retirement needs to happen. And ya know what else happens? The new younger workers are now paying into SSA and NOT getting unemployment! And the newly retired will go and see and do... yeah spend! As will the newly hired as they now have a FUTURE!

    J.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  130. Peter from Toronto

    The question that needs to be asked is not how high to raise the eligibility age, but how to restore the middle class. With a large and strong middle class you'll have more revenues to pay for things like Social Security, and people able to save more money for their own retirement.

    Cutting Social Security is just part of the downward spiral that makes the wealthy happy, but makes everyone else miserable.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  131. Mike

    Born in 1961, I'll be old enough to take the maximum benefit from Social Security just as the fund runs out. I also come from a family with a good deal of longevity, some living to near or more than 100 years. I don't have to retire at 72. If I'm healthy and have my energy and creativity, I'll keep working and contributing to society. Pushing up the retirement age is fine with me. My only concern is that we make sure that the work environment is friendly to older citizens. There is a lot of hidden discrimination going on, and a lot of pressure to keep older people out of the workplace. I've been in several companies where you'd be hard pressed to find anyone over 40. It felt like Logan's Run.

    If the government wants to increase the retirement age for Social Security, they should institute policies that make it more favorable to hire seniors. However, they should NEVER increase the age for Medicare benefits. Private insurance premiums are already skyrocketing for the over 50 crowd, and public insurance is the only way to provide affordable healthcare

    June 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  132. Jim

    It should be a target of 65. Hell I’m 56 and have been working hard for 40+ years now. I hope to live to 85 but if people like us keep getting the beat down I won’t make it to my target. I'll die of stress, or a heart attack trying to hang on by my fingernails.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  133. Doctor e

    Retirement has always been a complicated and contrived idea. Think about it....you have a country that can only support 'x' amount of jobs because that is how capitalism works, plus new worker cohorts every year that must be employed if the political system is to remain stable. Solution....ah, yes, let's force the most capable and skillful workers (who we have to pay more) out, in order to hire cheaper and less skillful workers. Hmm. Not the most efficient plan, but the most profitable one from a business standpoint.
    Only flaw...medical advancement gives longer, healthier lives to these workers! Now what?

    Retirement at 80 seems about right. Why not? We should be better off. Who wants to sit around and dwell on the past versus being productive and active anyway?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  134. wilson plowman

    Retirement should be at 60. Most of us (99%) do not have jobs that are CEO type jobs. Most of us do jobs that wear the body out way before 66. All you need to do is get rid on the cap for social security, make medicare means tested (all those who make over 1 million or are worth 1 million pay all or most of their expenses) and problem solved. Where does it say it is the moral thing to work until one drops dead especially concerning mind and body numbing jobs which the profound majority of us do.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  135. steve kevlin,,,, puyallup wa.

    only people with money can retire... now,, so lets get rid off ssn and take care of our own retirement. since the teapartyers want the govt. out of healthcare im sure they would the same about retirement. and while we are at it. how about if congress changes the rules for them .. if they dont last 30yrs. they dont get anything like the rest of us......they all need to be taken out of office.. just vote 3rd party cant do any worse......

    June 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  136. Kathleen in Maryland

    Jack, nobody should count on Social Security as their financial safety net in their "golden years." The trouble is that too few people are able or willing to put some of their paycheck aside each month – either because the paycheck doesn't go far enough in the first place, or because they like to dispose of their disposable income. I am in my 50s and plan to work at least another 20 years – as long as I can – because I cannot afford to retire at 65. Student loans, mortgages, and taxes (which help support people who refuse to buy their own health insurance) are placing retirement out of reach for too many of us.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  137. Joe in Seattle

    What about age discrimination going on now? There are people in their late 50s who are not able to find employment due to their age. In addition, the young people are gaining hatred against the older workers because they believe they are taking up jobs that could be for them. I don't believe working into the 70 to 80's is plausible because of this.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  138. Jean Sartre

    First of all, Jack, there is no such thing as a Social Security Trust Fund! Under lynden Johnson, in the 60's, the Social Security Fund was moved to the General Funds, where congressmen/women raided it as their personal piggy bank to the tune of now -$1.67 Trillion dollars! That is what congress left there in the form of IOU's which each and every American citizen who works, wll be left to paying back; you will NOT get it from the dead heads in congress who spent it!

    Full benefits should start at age 62. Employers look at anyone over 50 as a liability in terms of productivity, insurance premiums and risk. You should get out in the labor market and try to get a job passed the age of 50, and if you are currently unemployed and over 50, you just might as well buy the gun or pills, as your chance of securing meaningful employment for a livable wage is slim to none, and Slim has long ago left town...

    June 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  139. Bob

    I departed the work force at 58 with no regrets. Down sized my expenses and finding there is life, lots of it, after work!

    June 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  140. Susan from Ca

    Why set and age.j Just wait until a person can no longer function mentally or physically then send them out on an iceberg to live out their golden years.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  141. John N Florida

    Guys and gals in white shirts who roll around in their chairs all day will have no trouble with that – Right Jack? However, if you really dug in to the statistics you'd see the the age of death fro those who REALLY work for a living hasn't changed all that much. I'm talking about people who do all sorts of manual labor, whether it's plumbing, carpentry, electrical – people who actually get their hands dirty so you can sit in your nice, air conditioned office and contemplate raising the retirement age for everyone.
    Nobody wants a 67 year old cop or fireman showing up at their emergency. I even doubt that you, Jack, want to observe a 70 year old woman working on a Manhattan Skyscraper installing plumbing lines and fixtures in the dead of winter.
    If you white collar guys want to opt for age 70, go for it. The people in the manual trades have pretty much used up their bodies by age 65. It's so bad that the Unions actually have to write it in to their contracts on a ratio basis to even keep guys and gals working after age 55. Given a choice, no contractor would hire a 63 year old man over a 20 something trained worker.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  142. Michael Sears

    Pushing retirement back as people live longer makes sense, at least for the Secial Security fund. The problem for those who are pushing their retirement age back is who will employ them? Face it, there isn't a big market for workers in their mid to late 60's. As for all of the Republican bashing,that's the norm for the Libs/Looters. They have no plan to fix Medicare or Social Security, other than to keep pushing it off. The sooner we fix it the easier the medicine will be. The longer we wait the uglier it gets. By the way, the same applies to fixing the federal deficit. The Libs are so fond of saying that everyone should pay their fair share. Great, I agree. Let's start with the almost 50% of workers who pay ZERO federal income tax. How fair is that? I find it highly offensive that someone paying no federal income tax gets to vote and have just as much say as the people who are paying all of the bills. I don't want them to lose their vote, I just want them to start paying taxes!

    June 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  143. Scott

    "Work until you die"...they new American dream?

    June 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  144. Donaldo in ATL

    We should not have a specific age retirement, let inidividuals make that decision, based on their specific circumstances.
    That is real democracy at work.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  145. Paula Mann

    When Social Security was implemented the average family was about 4 or 5 children. The abortion and birth control culture that says children are a burden instead of a blessing has contributed to this as well as the increased life expectancy. I have relatives who chose not to have children, but they are going to expect my descendents to pay for them. Selfishness is at the root of alot of these problems. We now have too few workers paying for the babyboomers who were too immature or too selfish to have their own children. Most cultures in this world consider your children your retirement. It is time we rethink the anti-life position.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  146. Ken in DC

    To be fair to young and old people – I think we should balance the amount that we spend on education and on Social Security. 1 more dollar for schools is 1 more dollar for retirees.

    You could also go another way – we pay for school for kids for 13 years (start at age 5 until they are 18). What if we made the retirement age equal to the average lifespan minus 13 years. Then as we get healthier, it would naturally go up.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  147. Bob D Iowa

    Jack just pick an age it doesn't matter anymore those under 65 will never be ready unless they were elected to some office and will live off us for 50 to 60 years.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  148. MikeM

    I'll retire when I have enough in savings to pay for room and board for my remaining years. But, in reality, what would I do if I retire? Get bored till death?
    The way it's set up, only a Democrat (FDR) would have done it. It was the beginning of the nanny state. Each person should be responsible for their retirement. Government should get out of that business.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  149. Ted in Maryland

    How about some sort of compromise, such as phasing into retirement by cutting back from 40 hrs/wk to 32 to 24 to 16 to 8 to 0 over the course of a few years? It would help keep seniors contributing to the pool while opening up jobs for the next generation. It would also help ease seniors into the golden years.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  150. Eric

    This article contains a number of fallacies.

    The first fallacy is the idea that everyone is living so long, so that Social Security can't handle the increased burner from citizens collecting benefits for the additional years. This is not true. Actuarians predict these trends decades in advance and in the 1980s Social Security taxes were adjusted to deal with this phenomenon.

    However, what was not properly predicted in the 1980s is the massive shift of income to the richest Americans in the years since then. The people making adjustments to Social Security at the time assumed that income would be distributed in a similar manner as in the past, and the gap between the rich and everyone else wouldn't grow to be that extreme. Income inequality has soared in the USA as the 1% have seized total control of our government, and the USA now ranks with the most corrupt and backwards countries on the planet. China and India have better gini coefficients than we do now. Since Social Security taxes are not levied on any income above $110,000, the shift of ever larger amounts to earners making more than that means less revenues coming into the system to pay for benefits. The cap needs to be raised to deal with that.

    The second fallacy is the idea that everyone is living longer. This is not true. The life expectancy of a laborer or poor person hasn't budged that much over the past few decades, while the life expectancy of someone with a desk job and a decent standard of living has increased by a very significant 6 years. It is fundamentally unfair to ask a group of people who are not living longer to postpone their retirement because wealthier individuals are living longer. You can't expect everyone who has is a manual laborer to do it until they live to be 67 or 70.

    Social Security retirement ages *should* be raised for high income earners, but not for everyone else. To make up for the lack of revenue because more and more of our nation's income is going to earners making more than the $110,000 subject to taxes, we should raise the cap, or eliminate it altogether.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  151. joan

    The retirement age ought to be raised by several years and right away. When social security was passed, 65 was about as long as anyone lived. It is healthy to keep working. Certainly government workers should have to wait to 66 to retire. How come they can collect full benefits in their 50's and then take another job and double-dip? That is such a joke on the taxpayer.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  152. Barry

    We keep you alive to serve this ship so row well and live!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  153. John from Santa Maria, CA

    You can't really retire on Social Security, that's like hand to mouth. If retirement means living with a certain amount of comfort and security, you have to have something else going on and what that is, is the big question.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  154. Eric

    Sorry, "increased burner" should read "increased burden"

    June 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  155. bellaterra66

    Jack - 55-60 for police officers, fire fighters, construction workers, airline pilots. 60-65 for people with desk jobs. Sitting all day can be just as bad, if not worse, than manuel labor jobs. Yes, we are living longer, but once we hit 70-75, the vast majority of us can't begin to hold down a 40 hour a week job. Living longer doesn't mean we're living stronger.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  156. Donna Wisconsin

    It is fine where it is at. To solve this problem of funding–Take that God Awful wage cap off!! Anyone getting a paycheck should pay into SS!!! End of story! But then we need to figure out how to get those billionaires who like Rhomney, live off their Caman Island money to pay into it. "Cause I'm sure they take it out-they need that to invest more!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  157. Barbara from NC

    Wanna know why it's going broke? 40% of the people on disability are not disabled. The took that so they could get it earlier and at a higher rate of pay. I know 2 in my family that did it. The only disabilities they have are their inabilities to be honest.

    It's disgusing.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  158. Eric

    Actuarians -> actuaries, you can't expect everyone who has is a manual laborer -> you can't expect everyone who is a manual laborer - my oh my I need to proofread more - my apologies

    June 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  159. thom richer

    I believe 65 years of age is a very sound, practical and common sense age to meet retirement requirements for most individual workers in America. Yes, there are those fortunate few who have their health beyond 65 but not the majority. Not all employed workers are fortunate enough to have careers that span a lifetime that allows retirement at any age. Employers now and in the future will not employ a worker for 20, 30, 40 or more years. They don't want them to retire from their business and will not provide benefits for retirement or health care, so retirement even at 65 will be a miracle for most. To have to work beyond 65 to achieve retirement age is nonsensical and a scam on workers by Corporate America and Congress. "Careers" in the sense that we interpret them are a thing of the past. We will merely work at jobs from now on. Forty, forty five years of continuous employment should warrant retirement regardless of "age." These tactics used by pocket politicians and corporate pirates are their easy way of controlling and subjugating the American Worker under the guise of economic change and global economics without responsibility to the labor force's rights.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  160. WKT1186

    The retirement age must be raised. It is simple math. People are living much longer and Social Security was not designed to pay benefits to people for decades. Either raise the retirement age or the system goes broke, it is not a difficult choice. If you personally want to retire earlier, then you had better save up so you can retire earlier. The people who squander their money in thier youth will just have to work longer to pay for their foolishness.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  161. Dave in Florida

    Well, if we ever figure out how to re-engineer 401Ks and IRAs to realistically provide income security for the vast majority of our seniors, we could raise the retirement age for most folks to 67-70. High physical and/or stress occupations, such as fire fighting, construction, etc., I think still merit a lower age because the body wears out faster from these activities. Look, some folks will always be against Social Security because in their view it promotes a Communist/Socialist paradise. Most of the rest of us, however, see Roosevelt's invention as a critically important component of an advanced society.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  162. WR Jones

    The problem with raising the retirement age to save money is that Social Security Disability takes up the slack. There is a fine line between too old to work and not being unable to work, and disability pays just as much if not more than retirement.

    It's no surprise disability claims have exploded in the past 3 years, when you can't find a job you turn to whatever can pull you out of a hole, If you increase the retirement age the claims will for disability skyrocket.

    We have lawyers bilking the citizens of billions by suing the SS administration on behalf of "disabled" applicants that have such career ending injuries as carpal tunnel. Few understand that when a person applies for disability the payments start from the day you apply, even if it takes a lawyer 3 years it's all paid in a lump sum, with the better part going to the lawyer.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  163. AK

    65. Work does keep people healthy because it forces individuals to use their brains and for some their hands. 65 is old enough to where people should be able to financially afford to call it quits, and still have plenty of time to live without a demanding career.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  164. Roy in Poughkeepsie

    Privatize our Social Security and we can retire when each feel comfortable to leave the work force. Concentrate efforts on keeping Medicare healthy, since this will be one of our biggest expenses.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  165. ja

    if i was a senator or had the type job that people blew smoke up my brpqw when i entered the room, yeah it is ok to work until 70, 80 or 90 something, the average american that will be affected don't have that type job, we should cut back on polititicans pensions require more than the few years many serve, to become entitled to benifits unheard of, while being independently weathy

    June 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  166. Neill from Kentucky

    If I live to the average life expectancy then the amount I withdraw from Social Security should equal the amount I put in while I was working (with appropriate interest adjustments). Retirement age is then a straightforward calculation:

    SS Benefits received / year * (avg life expectancy – X) = Total Paid in (with interest adjustment), where X = my retirement age

    June 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  167. Mark W. Ellis

    Jack,

    Let Congress pick the age. But it should be the same for all, including Congress......... while we are at it let's move Congress on to Medicare as well as a retirement income rate equal to Social Security. And just for grins let's "Means Test" them before the get any benefits. After all even the Constitution notes "all men were created equal" so it should be with their entitlements.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  168. Nicholas

    Make it 10 years below the average life expectancy in the country, readjusted every decade to stay revelant.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  169. Bleh64

    How about we make it fair then? All the one term senators and congressmen/women who only server 1 term don't get their full benefits until they reach the same age as we do for full retirement. Easy to keep raising the bar when you only have to serve 1 term to receive full retirement and medical benefits, which make medicare look like a dollar store item. Tired of these useless politicians, the gooberment is out of control.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  170. Tom werst

    jack for real im going on 60 i hurt euery day constant pain i work construction an no im mot a boss therefore i work if the retirement age was 60 i couldnt do it couldnt afford to an thank the lord aboue i have a job the problen is to many pepole abuse or social system provided by the goverment because they were taught this by others or they are lazy an want that free ride so till our reps in dc take real steps to who is ellegable for social security benefits the system will stay in the red jamestown had a lesson to teach we quit teaching that lesson now as a country were in trouble 65 would be a fair estimate 67 would do not 25 cause u play dumb not 22 cause ur cripied breaking the law or u are suffering from self induced injuries due to drugs u schould get what u contributed if u didnt hard winters thats real

    June 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  171. Sam

    "First thing their new socialist president did was LOWER the retirement age to 60, even though it will cost the government billions of euros a year. Another example of sound European fiscal policy."

    That is absolutely idiotic, though I have come to expect this type of backhanded political potshot here on CNN. The French decided that they thought it was worth their tax dollars to help people live more fulfilling lives, just like they do with MUCH longer mandatory vacation days, higher minimum wage, and both paid maternity and paternity leave. Amazing what a society can afford when it's not lavishly funding wars and cutting taxes for the well-to-do. This type of political prioritizing is a drop in the bucket and really has nothing to do with the current fiasco in the EU.

    I simply cannot understand why so many people are opposed to a higher standard of living.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  172. Steve S.

    "Work 'em 'till they drop dead"......The wealthy 'job providers'

    June 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  173. Jo Gordon

    What they don't tell you is that people who work for SS don't pay into SS but are allowed to collect. My sister worked for SS for 30 years, never had SS taken out of her paycheck, retired early and is now collecting. This is what's wrong with the system – not aging baby boomers!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  174. Mike

    67. Or sooner if you were responsible and saved for it. Remember to plan ahead or don't expect help beyond your immediate family besides the scraps the gov't throws at you.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  175. Eric in TX

    I understand Social Security is in deep trouble, and people are living longer so this obviously poses a problem. I also believe that individuals who are 40+ are productive and bring value to the workforce in general (I am one of them). The question I have is; do we really think employers are going to keep us around that long? It's my opinion that many employers nowadays are ready to walk us out the door at 55-60 whether we like it or not and bring in different personnel. So, are we forced to work at a McDonalds or be a greeter at Wall-Mart? I'll make a proposition, let me take the dollars I have invested into social security now (with no interest on the dollars) and put it in savings/bonds/stocks; rather than let Uncle Sam screw it up. There are other issues here, but I won't go into that....

    June 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack not all people are created equal. Some require social security at a much younger age due to a death in the family or end stage kidney failure or many other disabilities. Social security is many things to many people not just a retirement fund. People that pay in to the system should be able to use it when they qualify to use it or reach what ever magical age the government deems necessary.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  177. Jared Marr

    The retirement age needs to be at least 70. What people also need to remember is that when FDR created social security the average collection time frame was no more than a couple months and only one half percent of the nation ever even claimed it. I don't understand why Social Security isn't set up as a proportion of the average life span as a mathematical formula so that this problem doesn't continue to occur.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Myth in Arizona

    Only the government, or elitist think tanks can turn people living longer into a bad thing. The question shouldn't be what the retirement age should be. The question is, how much more should humanity spend on weapons and wars while they leave retirees high and dry?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Larry in Houston

    Here is an idea – why don't they pass a law that says – everybody that has a social security number – that turns 18 years old, draws social security until you're 55. (if you go to work, or get a Job during 18 – 55, then you forfeit your social security, until you're 65. But as long as you don't work between the ages of 18 – 55, then you get paid s.s. THEN – after you reach the age of 55, the Law says that you have to work til you Die, otherwise it would be a felony, and then you would have to go to Jail, til you are willing to work til you die.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Clecgirl

    As I try to choose a Medicare plan by August 7, knowing I will not retire for years, I have one thing to say:
    Should've put it in a Lock Box.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Donna in NJ

    Mr C. What bankrupted Social Security and Medicare was not paying out senior benefits. Rather, Congress owes the fund BILLIONS in paying for their out of control spending either on the wars, bank bailouts, etc. If the money needs to be replaced.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Gary Costello

    Temporarily (for 5 years) raise the retirement age to 100 before ANY benefits can be received. Since that's the only income most pepole have to retire on, during that period those people will most probably die. Then, after a large number of people are 'removed by default' from being eligible to collect, restore the retirement age to 65. This plan is no more absurd and offensive than those conceived by the multi-millionaire senators and congressman who are immune to the impact of their decisions. All 'old people' should simply convert our 'leaders' into soylent green.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Bob Schroder Piedmont Quebec Canada

    Work until you die and subtract 5 years. That's when the person should have retired.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Kevin

    How about we leave the retirement age where it is so most people will live long enough to actually get something back from all the money that was confiscated from them during thier working years. However the benefits should be frozen at the 2012 level so as future retirees come up for retirement they will get a little something back but as successive generations become eligible for Social Security benefits it will be a smaller and smaller portion of their overall retirement money. Younger generations have longer to save up to provide for their own retirements without more and more money being sucked out of their wallets during their working years.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  185. emporiadave

    I believe that 68 is the top age to which retirement should be adjusted. Admittedly, folks in offices and less physically stressful employment could work longer, but those who do backbreaking labor still need to be able to reitre while they are not broken in body. A major part of the Social Security problem could be solved if payroll taxes were assessed on all wages, not just the first $110,000. The way it is written is a very regressive system in that those who make minimum wage pay the full 7.65% on all wages and their employers match this. Those making $1-million a year pay less than 1% of their wages and so do their employers.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  186. LARRY OF BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

    jack, As part of the 99% non union workforce I just want to be treated the same as our elected officials and our union government employees. Therefore I want what Congress has – a guaranteed pension at 100% pay even if I only work 1 term; lifetime health care like elected officials when I retire or get voted out/fired; ; lucrative cadillac health care plans like those union workers while I am active; and finally, leverage and power the same as the competitive powers of all unions -- Now, where is my union steward.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Burbank

    It's not really about having to support us, it's about keeping us paying into the system longer to fund all the illegal aliens's free everything and freeloading welfare scammers. Extend the retirement age to 70? Yeah, right! Just try to find someone to even hire you in your late 60's for anything more than a minimum wage Walmart greeter. It's all a huge scam! Time for the 1% to start doing their fair share....

    June 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  188. Rita Cash

    If the thieves in DC did not continually take the money out SS over the years, there would be no problem. This hogwash over running out of money is a lie. The pols stole it....Keep reitirement age as it was, 65,

    June 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  189. gg canada

    politicians should have to wait till there 90 before they get there pensions

    June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  190. gary, los angeles

    It should be 60.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  191. Jean

    Here is an idea Jack. How about limits on welfare instead? We have had free loaders on that for decades. They never contribute a dime, and the government doesnt raise their retirement age.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  192. LARRY OF BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

    Obama's plan is cradle to grave - work yourself right into the funeral -- and buy a shovel and bring a friend so someone can put you in the ground.

    Why cant we surrender like Italy did – disband our military and declare our Swiss neutrality. Then just hope someone invades us so they can take care of us better than the losers we have in Office today

    June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  193. Jim from Kansas

    I am 59. I am tired and I have serious heart disease. But, I don't think retirement age should be at 60. I hope I reach 66 to be able to collect SS for a few years. I think that is fair. The retirement age needs to be raised, as we as a group, live longer.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  194. Marco from Tennessee

    Now they want to tell us when to retire..... Most Americans are not stupid one knows when one can retire and afford that lifestyle. Social Security was not meant as a means of retirement it was and still is a supplement. However, Social security was also not set up for presidents to dip into and help pay wars either. On both ends there are pros and cons. Unfortunately as long as their are politicians who are interested in how deep their own pockets are, The American people are going to continue to suffer.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  195. steve

    Jack- you got it all wrong. It's not how high should the retirement age be? It's at what age/time do you decide to ask your children for help. The answer is there should never be that time, but many of us will have to take a slice of humble pie and overcome the extreme embarrassment of living too long!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  196. ernie ray

    well jack here in canada our government just told out seniors they have to work until there 67 yrs old , as they gave themselves golden pensions and can collect at 55 yrs old , so i say it should be the same as the politicians and it should be for the same amount , fair is fair ?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  197. Stephanie in Seattle

    Raising the age is not the answer. It may help and I don't mind them raising it a bit but they need to get a handle on things. With the mess that is Medicare I don't know if I ever want to retire. They need to start fixing things. Time for all of them to go. They've had their chance.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  198. Steve D

    Yes, my mom is 91 and going strong. However, I have now been to four funerals of best friends that never reached the age of social security and those of 3 other family friends. Just today I learned a good 28 year old friend has stage 4 malinoma and just days to live. Those of us in the know know that 1/2 the population of Japan will be dead in the next 5 years and that the radiation poison is spreading well beyond the Japanese island. I agree social security needs lots of tweaking but the age thing is a bunch of what us horse players call red boarding because one generation lived longer.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  199. Hunter from Boston

    somewhere around a billion years old. Work weeks get longer and vacations get shorter. Now they want this pattern continue till we are as old as dust. I don't know about you Jack, but i want my golden years. What happened to play time?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  200. WDinDallas

    @Anne

    FDR put it at just 2 years below life expectency in the 40's. It was never meant to be a 10 year program. Now people are living well into their 80's and 90's now.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  201. Ashley from texas

    Jack, I beleive the retirement age should stay the same. People work their whole life and there needs to come a time when they can enjoy life for once instead of worrying about the monkey on the back...The social security system needs to change NOW, otherwise we will be rolling through our workplace door in wheelchairs and with canes and if that be the case there is no point in this so called social security system..we are basically paying the government to work. We need a real change.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  202. Melody

    Jack, I think the retirement age should stay where it is and not go any higher. There are some jobs where it is just too hardy physically and people end of with health issues and some where mentally they are just not as good as they used to be. I understand that SS is used for MORE then just retirement for people when they retire. Let's stop taking money out of SS to pay for things that don't qualify. Where does the money come from for politicians when they serve for a term and get paid forever after their term is over and their medical is covered? They should have to "earn" their retirement and medical funds like the rest of us.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  203. David McKay

    Jack, I am 60 now and I am worried whether I can sustain doing my job for another 5 or 6 years. Not everyone has a white collar job and there are some of us that have to do physical labor for employment. I also dispute whether people will be living longer in the future. The way things are going, only the rich and state & government workers, who have lucretive benefits will be able to afford to live long.The retirement age should have stayed at 65 in my opinion.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  204. jackdermody

    France is right, Jack. People who retire at 60 can make huge contributions - caring for grandchildren, voluntteering as teachers, providing wise answers to difficult social problems. Social security is an inexpensive way to close the gaps of social needs.And younger people will take the jobs they left at a much lower salary. Everybody wins, Jack.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  205. andrew in pinehurst, nc

    70 years old for almost everybody. 51 for President Obama.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  206. mike sey, Ottawa

    Depends on how obese you are. With a bit more snak-food you probably won't get there.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  207. DC Johnny

    This isn't even a question worth debating, for there is only one answer. Higher. Much, much higher. The liberals love to paint pictures of unicorns and rainbows and decree that the elderly should be able to rest peacefully at 60 with full benefits and no expenses, but the bottom line is that our society will crumble into oblivion if the Social Security system is not massively overhauled or eliminated entirely. But don't let a conservative save society – that would be awful.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  208. Anshu

    Is it really a question about retirement? I believe, the real question is about paying for retiree's expenses. So, the solution would have to be making healthcare less expensive. Which might include some crazy idea such as abolishing health insurance industry, nationalizing heal care industry etc etc.

    As far as retiring age is concerned, I believe, a person should be able to retire whenever he/she wants. In response, the retirement benefits (including SS and Medicare) should be made proportional to the person's contributions towards these categories. And, we can encourage people to make these contributions by ways of linking tax exemptions (like we do these days)

    If the nation has more money to spend (e.g. countries like US, UK, FR, DE), it can have a basic health net for everybody irrespective of their work status, age.. etc.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  209. Dale N.M.

    The Social Security fund is Washington DC's piggy bank

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  210. Rita Doonan

    I really want to know what happens to all the payroll deductions for S.S. taken from undocumented workers who will never receive a penny of it. Does anyone really know?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  211. Longmont, CO

    67 like they promised and for which I planned. Conversely, they can write me a check today for everything I payed into FICA (plus interest), stop forcing me to pay into it for the next 10 years, and I'll call it even.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  212. Peter Hill from Las Vegas Nevada

    The basic problem is that social security was never intended to be the primary source of income for seniors! When FDR was President, for every 1 person recieving benefits, 16 people were paying in. Today, that ratio is less than 3 people paying in for every one recieving benefits, and it is getting dangerously close to 2 to 1. In 1935, 65 was old! Toady, 65 is young! The solution is to GRADUALLY raise the retirement age until we are back to 16 people paying in for every 1 recieving, whatever that age turns out to be! More importantly, this type of change would not affect those already recieving benefits!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  213. RedRock99

    Keep the same "trend" increases in place. How about the gov't pay back all the funds they robbed from SS all these decades first, then see where we are. Whatever happens, Congress won't be bound by any new adjustments that the common citizen will be burdened with. They've got the golden parachute.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  214. Bruce

    Cafferty, for a so called liberal your real colors seem to be showing. The only real reason Soc Security has any problems is because there is a tax cap at a 100,000 dollars. That means I made 120,000 last year and Warren Buffet made 65,00000000 gazillion dollars and we both pay the same maximum social security tax.You are only fooling the idiots who vote against there own best interests. 60-65 YEARS. IF MY GOVERNMENT WONT FUND SOCIAL SECURITY THEN CANCEL THERE FEDERAL PENSIONS ALSO AND GIVE ME MY FEDERAL INCOME TAX MONEY BACK.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  215. Carol

    The reduction back to age 60 is only intended for those who began work at age 18 or 19 and had put 41 years into the pension system. Many who do physical labor, such as in construction or other blue collar trades, should be entitled to retirement at this age. Bodies wear out; people doing such work cannot continue into their mid or upper sixties unless they are exceptional. Kudos to the new President of France for caring for the people.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  216. Tom Barrister from Florida

    This is a sticky situation. On one hand, advances in medicine and understanding of what is and isn't healthy has increased the average lifespan by over 15 years since Social Security was first implemented, while also increasing the quality of life. On the other hand, the human body has its limitations as it ages, even if well-maintained. Also, if people work longer, it will leave fewer jobs down the chain for young adults entering the job market.. All in all, it's probably not unreasonable to raise the retirement age to 68 or 70.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  217. Ralph Myers

    Jack it should stay the same as it is now, If you raise the retirement age where are the people graduating from college and high school going to get jobs. There are construction jobs and other manual jobs that workers over 65 cannot do.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  218. Angela Charlotte, NC

    If employers continue to discriminate against "Seniors," and either won't employ them or lay them off, what difference does it make? Social Security or unemployment benefit, or food stamps, one way or the other they will have to be taken care of. I took early retirement and a reduced pension because I could not get a job and my unemployment ran out!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  219. sonnie3

    In case of our politicians it should be required to retire at 55 with no pension other than SS at 68 for them, so as they could go out and get a job under the laws they set up. Deserves them right!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  220. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, if we keep raising the debt ceiling the way we have lately, we've added over $5 trillion dollars since Obama was elected, it won't matter how old today's kids get because our country will have gone broke long before they turn 66.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  221. Scott

    There are 2 conflicting issues here. 1) the fact that people are living longer and that drives the cost of Social Security up if the ages aren't raised and 2) How long can someone work, or can they even find work. At 55, I just spent 1 year finding my current job and I know there was age discrimination that extended the time it took me to find work. The next time I have to find work, who knows how long might take.

    From a pure age perspective, I think it should be 67. However, maybe it could be higher if there were still some options for early retirement in case you can't find work and if you later found work, you could go off of Social Security.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  222. jackdermody

    France is right, Jack. 60 is a perfect age to retire because pensioners can fill enormous social gaps as educators, volunteers, grandparents, to name a few activities. A $24,000 "salary" from social security is very cheap for what the country gets out of the goodness of their hearts. It's a myth that "old people" just sit around and sponge off the government. Meanwhile, younger people take their former high-paying jobs at a reduced rate and support their families as they should.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  223. Donna

    My neighbor was forced to retire at age 64 by the University she was employed at most of her life. She died eight months later and wasn't even able to sign up for medicare to help pay her medical bills before she died. What about those who don't live years longer as 'expected'? Shouldn't they get some benefit after paying in all their life?

    June 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  224. Jo on the Coast

    How about some REAL protection for older workers as far as getting "kicked to the curb"? Employers know they can save money on younger workers. They flick their noses at the notion of lawsuits from older workers claiming discrimination. Raise the retirement age to the moon! It won't do a thing for older workers displaced by the young.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  225. Henry, Sterling Hts, Mi.

    as early as 60 for manual laborers and as late as 70 for office workers.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  226. Ralph Myers

    Jack the best way to keep the retirement age down is drill baby drill and get out of the W.T.O.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  227. cenk2000

    I have scanned through most of the comments. The average person lives into the mid 70's now and can easily work into the 70's. Not one person has mentioned that we have AntiAging technologies that are not being paid for by the VA insurance or any insurance company that I know of. These treatments ( actually life style like exercise, diet) and nutritional and hormonal treatments can acutally reverse the aging process by about 20 to 25 years allowing one to be both physically and mentally active well into thier 80's. If we keep everyone employed into their 80's however, we will face much more unemployment if we continue to allow unlimited immigration and unlimited reproduction. An ideal family size should be from no children to one children as we are running out of natrual resources to support adding one billion people to our population every 15 years.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  228. Sierra

    If you have no debilitating medical illness – then the Retirement age should be 67 years old. Along with that – there should be a paid job retraining program set up for workers over 50 years old who CANNOT find a job!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  229. Curtis

    Raising the retirement age is going to create a problem with job discrimination, no company and it's already being proven wants to hire those in their senior years. Find a way to resolve that issue first before you start raising the retirement age.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  230. Desmond

    If the government haden't spent up to a trillion dollars to fight unwanted wars overseas without blinking an eye, the ss system would have been fully funded. With the economy the way it is retirement age should be 60 this would remove millions from the workforce an allow young people to actually find a job, companies would has less overhead and therefore be able to invest in new endeavours, an added benefit, parents can finally move these young people out of their basement and thus save money, a win win for all.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  231. Common Sense

    They need to gradually raise it from 67 to 69 and that should hold us for about 30 years and then life expectancies will be even longer and they will need to phase in another 2 year bump. They should also raise the cap from the current $110K or so to about $160K to help out too. This isn't Rocket Science!!!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  232. cenk2000

    Age 85 might be a good retirement age with Modern Anti Aging Medicine although this seems to be unknown to the general population. Employment of those age 80 to 85 would however cause more unemployment so family size needs to be more like zero to 1 child as we are running out of money and natural resources to support adding 1 billion people every 15 years to our population

    June 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  233. mike mulholland

    I'm a pipe fitter/welder, it ia vary heavy liftiing and physically demanding job. Most all of us 60 to 65 years old are in poor shape, back injuries, neck injuries, spinal stenosis and severe arthritis.How long do you think a construction worker can work were practically worthless byage 65

    June 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  234. Gordon

    With 8.2% unemployment what we need to do is have old people work longer. That way they can keep young people from getting jobs. What sense does that make?

    One of the reasons we have a growing gap between the rich and the rest of us is that we already work too much and get paid too little. American workers are too productive for their own good. We should move the retirement age down to 60.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  235. pjrogers

    work where...what jobs....wait till we have a 70 yr. old fireman taking ten minutes to hook up a fire hose while your house burns...down.....damn my joints hurt.....and my feet, don't ask....!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  236. Steve

    Easy – whenever you want. But you only get 12 years of SS payments and everyone gets the same amount. I'd rather die worn out, fat, and happy at 70 than cling to life for another 20 years.

    Under the current system, I plan to retire at 62 as long as SS is still there for me when I hit 70 (43 years from now). If not, I'm probably looking at 70-75.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  237. Rusty in the real world

    It will never happen with todays political climate but they need to roll back the age to collect benefits 1 year every two years for the next thirty years, making the age to collect benefits 80. As a preccusor to collecting anything there needs to be an overall fiscal evaluation done to determine if SS payments are even needed. Either that or the government needs to stop with the lies and admit they are just going to use the existing funds for whatever they want to anyways.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  238. Cindy

    I sure hate to see the next generation. I can see 80 year olds, on backs of garbage trucks, driving taxi's, washing windows on high rises. You don't think old people should drive a car, but some of you think you can work until 80. Then there is that generation following you. For the first time that generation will not outlive their parents. Retirement age is about as high now as it can grow.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  239. Rob in Pennsylvania

    I just saw that the "real" unemployment rate may be as high as 14%+. So you can discuss all you want about raising the retirement age and people can work until they are 70. From where are the jobs going to come? As our society automates more and more, as our society sends more jobs overseas with globalization, how are we going to provide the additional jobs?.
    The equation, that simple math tells you raising the retirement age means more jobs are required, should be discusses in the same breath as raising the retirement age.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  240. missy

    I personally think that the retirement age should be 62/65. it should be our choice... Most of us have worked since age 16, this is something we all look forward to and should be able to retire at an age that we can do the things we have always dreamt of doing in our retired Years...

    June 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  241. Dan

    The age would be determined by allowing people who paid into the system to receive all their money back during retirement plus a modest 3% interest rate. Anything less would be a Ponzi scheme! Oh, I guess it is.......

    June 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  242. davek

    S.S. needs to be abolished. It is a pyramid scheme. What I pay goes to those that collect it now. I choose to keep my money and invest it so I can retire when I fanned well please. It is my responsibility to plan my retirement, not the government. If I fail, that's on me and me alone.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  243. Laura Volk

    Start drug testing all welfare recipients and that should free up a lot of money. Then those of us who have worked hard all our lives for barely a living wage could collect full Social Security at 62. Also, put a cap on eligibility for SS; if you are a millionaire you don't qualify. Hey, I know some folks will call me a "socialist" for that last part, but that's how I feel.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  244. cenk2000

    Also we seem to have many employers over working people in order to hire less workers and then not have to pay for medical care insurance or retirement. If we had older people in the work force age 80 or higher, is would not be possible for them to work 50 to 70 hours a week. It would be better to have older people working to age 85,and taking Anti Aging Medical treatments but working 28 to 35 hours a week.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  245. george miami

    Work 'em 'till they drop dead"......The wealthy 'job providers'.......... Republican......

    June 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  246. Mark K

    Let us look at the flip side. If these retiries were to continue working where would the jobs come from? We obviously do not need everybody to work full time in order to provide food, housing, and medical care. This means that many of the younger individuals will not have jobs.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  247. Rex - Ohio

    Jack, if the monies collected from our paychecks for social security weren't borrowed by our government, then there would be plenty of funds to disperse among people that retire at 65. The way it was designed is a no fail approach, until 'they' started dipping into the pot.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  248. Mike

    It's a pointless question. Social Security is so insolvent that there is no way anybody under 40 is ever going to see a dime of that money. We're all going to have to work until we die – luckily that will be soon, since we won't be able to afford health insurance either.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  249. Rocky on Ohio

    I think 65 is more than long enough to have to work. Weather we are living longer or not. That is still more than 2/3's of our lives. I think it is time to rethink some of our policies. Why should those of us born and raised here be working longer, harder, and those that are come over here for a free ride? I stayed in a Hotel in Central Indiana last week. Could bare understand the manger, and of the 7 housekeeperd, 1 spoke english. I think it is time these people start paying more of their fair share for being here. Shift more of a tax burden in their direction, so those of us born here, worked our whole lives here, can still retire and hopefully have something to look forward to. Time to stop handing out the freebies out of the middleclasses pocket!!!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  250. Stephen Lay in New York

    Well, Jack, that's a great question ("How high should the retirement age be?"). I was required to meet a combination of 85 (age plus years in service), as a former Civil Service Employee. I gave the government 36 years and retired at 55 years old, which amounted to a combination of 91. It's not my fault that they raided the retirement funds to pay for other programs, and if they are in trouble because of it, don't expect me to work in excess of 100 years, combined age and years on the job, to bail them out. If they can afford multiple wars all over the planet they sure as hell can afford to meet their retirement obligations.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  251. Joanne Portera

    Why worry about Social Security not being there for our children. Our children are going to be the first generation to die before their parents & grandparents as they can't afford medical care,can't afford to go to college, are buried in their debt as well as ours & can't find a job with or with out college. You have to work to contribute to Social Security soooo won't be eligable anyway. I repeat WHY WORRY about it!! I have 3 children,7 grands & 6 great grands. Am I worried, you bet I am.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  252. Frank

    Become a police officer, firefighter, or service member and you can retire at 40 with a lifetime pension!

    June 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  253. Ellen, Memphis

    It is easy for those who sit behind a desk rubber stamping new rules to want to raise the age limit, however, for those out in the workforce who are blue collar workers who can argue that there will be more injuries, and therefore more workers comp filed.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  254. DocBlogger

    Retirement age should be frozen at 66. The future benefits should be proportioned to match the inflows, with an established minimum to avoid poverty. It is not fair to make people work longer and rob them of golden years enjoyment of relaxed retirement. People may be living longer but the body ages. Let me clarify, I pay max social tax year after year, and I am expected to take out less than what I pay (my retirement is decades away). That is the price of living in a society and I am at peace.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |