I’ve already made up my mind that part of my retirement planning is to continue working full or part time to keep busy as long as possible. So I’m inclined to believe that a proposal from the American Enterprise Institute to get rid of the option to take Social Security at age 62 is a good idea. The report advocates raising the first opportunity to claim benefits to age 66, rising to 67 in about 2020. Extending the retirement option by 4 years will extent the life of our current system a lot further into the future.
Keeping people working until 66 or 67 isn’t a physical problem for most these days. A study by David Cutler, a Harvard researcher, conducted for the Retirement Research Center in Boston, concluded that 65-year-old men have the capacity to work 90 percent as hard as men in their late 50s, and work capacity only declines to 70 percent at age 75.
Of course we’d continue to make Social Security disability available to those who are physically or mentally unable to work that long.
I would also suggest reducing significantly or eliminating Social Security payroll taxes for people who work and contribute to Social Security longer than 35 years, because the current formula for calculating Social Security doesn’t reward longer service.