At What Age Will You Retire?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

65 has been the standard age for retirement in this country since 1935. But that specific age has come into question as states hit economic hardships and more and more people live longer. Lawmakers in about a dozen states are looking to increase the retirement age or modify the way benefits are given out. These states might increase the qualifying retirement age for state employees, despite the fact that public-sector workers already retire, on average, earlier than workers in the private sector. Is this fair? We're looking into what the "right" retirement age is in this new age of longer life span and tighter budgets. 

We want to know from you: Whether you've retired already or are just making plans, what is the retirement age for your household? And if you retired early during the boom years, how has it been going? What's a few extra years? 

Alicia Munnell, the director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, says its necessary to raise the retirement age to contain skyrocketing pension costs. 

Frank Todisco is a Senior Pension Fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, says its too simple to lump state and federal retirement ages into one policy solution. 


Alicia Munnell and Frank Todisco

Produced by:

Alex Goldmark

Comments [9]

onie from Detroit

At age 60, I would retire right now, if I could, but my finances may mean that I work well into old age. It is easy to say that people live longer, so they can work longer. However, living longer does not mean that at ages 60-70, you have the same stamina you had when you were 55. I am a healthy elder, but I still get very depleted by the end of 7 or 8 hours of work. My quality of life will seriously deteriorate if I have to work past 65.

Aug. 04 2010 10:44 AM

I can retire next year when I turn 60. Civil servant, decent retirement package, benefits, etc. But I love what I do. Am I expected to move along to make room for the youngsters coming up?

Aug. 03 2010 09:55 PM

To Matt,

Don't blame the boomers. Look at the economy and tell me the jobs are there for the up and coming. Anyway, you can't make generalizations like that. There are plenty of middle aged people who put in lots of years who are out on the street.

If you're so up and coming, think up an economy that benefits the masses and isn't a throw back to the 20's or even the 1890's.

Aug. 03 2010 11:36 AM
Gordon from Aberdeen

I appreciate this discussion on retirement. Lets make sure not use public employee pensions as target of fixing the "problem". Lets make sure to remember that it is the excess corporate control of financial markets that have ruined the retirement next eggs of all of us. Lets not forget who caused the problem, unaccountable corporate executives who still make more money in a month than any of us will make in our reitrement years. How about a tax on corporate bonuses that coudl be used to shore up pension funds for many people who's pensions have been ruined by greedy corporate behaviour.

Aug. 03 2010 09:46 AM
Matt from Boston, MA

The boomers NOTretiring is part of the problem for the next generation - we have nowhere up to go while the boomers are sitting in all the good positions not retiring... meanwhile, the new crop of young, well trained people are coming up behind us. We won't have the option to retire, but we probably won't have the option to work.

For those of us who don't make a big salary now but also don't have the security of public sector retirement benefits, I'm very, very worried about the future.

Aug. 03 2010 09:15 AM

Boomers don't retire! We reinvent ourselves and keep it moving!

Aug. 03 2010 09:08 AM
Rich from Northampton, MA

Retire? At 53, and with four children, ages 7 & 9 (girls) and 13 & 15 (boys), I tell everyone that my retirement will begin when my head hits the desk in my office (hopefully at a ripe old age), and they carry me out. :)


Aug. 03 2010 07:56 AM

Plenty of workers in the private sector never make more than 30 thousand per year (even with a college degree) and we are also expected to pay for retirement and health care for the public sector while we have little or no funds for our own. Who does and does not DESERVE a respectable retirement package?

Aug. 03 2010 07:21 AM
dean hully from ann arbor

My father died when he was 68. I would like to retire by 62 if possible in order to enjoy a few years before....

Aug. 02 2010 11:11 AM

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