The retirement age in the U.S. is currently set at 62 (the age at that you can officially retire). Taking retirement at this age lowers your monthly payment. The full retirement age is currently set for 67, and Medicare starts at age 65.
Many policymakers and experts have proposed raising it to address the financial challenges an aging population poses. While there are potential benefits to raising the retirement age, such as increased economic productivity and reduced strain on government resources, there are also several drawbacks to consider.
Here are the pros and cons of raising the retirement age in the U.S.:
#1 Increased economic productivity
One of the most important reasons to raise the retirement age is that it could make the economy work better. The longer and healthier people live, the longer they will be able to work and contribute to the economy. This could help offset the economic costs of an aging population, such as increased healthcare and pension expenses.
#2 Reduced strain on government resources
Raising the retirement age could also help reduce the strain on government resources, such as Social Security and Medicare. As the population ages and more people retire, the cost of these programs is projected to increase significantly. By raising the retirement age, the government could reduce the number of eligible people for these programs and save money in the long run.
# 3 Increased retirement savings
Another potential benefit of raising the retirement age is that it could encourage people to save more for retirement. If people know they will be working longer, they may be more likely to save more money to support themselves in their later years. This could help address the issue of insufficient retirement savings among many Americans.
#4 Health benefits
Working longer could also have health benefits for individuals. Research has shown that people who continue working into their 60s and 70s tend to have better mental and physical health outcomes than those who retire earlier. Work provides a sense of purpose and social interaction, which can benefit overall health and well-being.
#1 Disadvantages for low-income workers
A major drawback of raising the retirement age is that low-income workers may be disproportionately affected. Many low-income workers have physically demanding jobs that may not be sustainable as they age. If the retirement age is raised, these workers may be forced to continue working in jobs detrimental to their health and well-being.
#2 Limited job opportunities for older workers
Another potential issue with raising the retirement age is that it could make it more difficult for older workers to find employment. Age bias is already a problem in many fields, and raising the retirement age could worsen it. This could leave many older workers without job opportunities, making it difficult for them to support themselves and their families.
#3 Reduced retirement benefits
Raising the retirement age could also reduce retirement benefits for some individuals. If people are required to work longer to receive full Social Security benefits, they may receive less money overall. This could be particularly problematic for low-income workers who rely on these benefits to support themselves in retirement.
#4 The potential strain on the healthcare system
Finally, raising the retirement age could potentially strain the healthcare system. As people age, they tend to require more healthcare services, and if they work for longer, they may be more likely to experience health issues requiring medical attention. This could increase the demand for healthcare services, which could strain an already overburdened system.
Increasing the age at which people can retire in the U.S. is a complicated issue with both pros and cons. Even though it could make the economy more productive and take less of a toll on government resources, it could hurt low-income workers, cut retirement benefits, and strain the healthcare system. In the end, policymakers will need to carefully think about all of these things when making decisions about the retirement age to make sure that any changes are fair and can be kept up.