Americans are now retiring at older ages than they were in the mid-’90s, according to analysis of Census Bureau data by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. In the last decade the average retirement age has risen from 62 to 64 for men and from 60 to 62 for women.
U.S. News & World Report reports that “the trend toward later retirement has been driven by declines in traditional pensions and retiree health benefits offered by employers, changes in the way Social Security benefits are calculated, better education and health, and less strenuous jobs that people are able to perform at older ages.”
Among other changes — like fewer workplace benefits, great longevity, and an increasing number of working wives — U.S. News & World Report pinpoints changes in Social Security as a big factor in the retirement age shift.
“The Social Security formula has been changed to make working longer a better deal,” writes reporter Emily Brandon. “The earnings test, which temporarily withholds Social Security payments for people who earn above certain limits, was removed for workers above full retirement age. For most current workers, the full retirement age is 66 or 67. There is also now a delayed retirement credit, which increases benefits for each year of delayed claiming between the full retirement age and age 70.”
Do you think changes in Social Security are the biggest contributor to the changing retirement age?
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