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Interesting read on uniform retirement ages
Old 01-05-2016, 11:48 AM   #1
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Interesting read on uniform retirement ages

Does a Uniform Retirement Age Make Sense? | Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:
  • Due to rising life expectancies, many policy experts would encourage people to work longer.
  • However, such changes assume all workers, regardless of socioeconomic status (SES), have experienced similar gains in life expectancy.
  • In fact, between 1979 and 2011, the gain for men in the lowest education quartile was one third lower than for men in the highest quartile.
  • If the goal were to keep the same balance of retirement to work years as in 1979, low-SES men could work to 68 today, while high-SES men could work to 69˝.
  • Thus, retirement policies that treat all workers the same hurt low-SES workers.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:02 PM   #2
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Well I ain't going back and please stop giving congress 'ideas'!
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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I would feel sorry for anybody who had to work to 69 and 1/2. Being female, my life expectancy is probably longer but if I had worked that long, I think I'd have had one foot in the grave by the time I retired.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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I would feel sorry for anybody who had to work to 69 and 1/2. Being female, my life expectancy is probably longer but if I had worked that long, I think I'd have had one foot in the grave by the time I retired.
Then you would feel sorry for the head of the outfit where that report came from: Alicia Munnell. She is 73 and known for not saving for her own retirement. But if you want an advocate for folks who screw it up, then she is the perfect person.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
The brief’s key findings are:
. . .

  • Thus, retirement policies that treat all workers the same hurt low-SES workers.
Absolutely not. The "low-SES" workers are disadvantaged when compared to high SES workers, but (depending on the policy enacted), they might actually be better off than they were previously. "Better off" is the opposite of "hurt".

Sounds like maybe the author/organization has an ax to grind. After all, the primary (and quite obvious) factors affecting life expectancy (and therefore years of expected retirement under any universal retirement age) are health and gender. It is sick people and males who are most significantly "hurt" by a universal retirement age. Let's see the authors put forward a proposal that increases the retirement age for women and for non-smokers, then we'll see if the public applauds.

Gotta pick the target groups very carefully. . . High SES= OK. Women = not OK.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:46 PM   #6
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Well I ain't going back and please stop giving congress 'ideas'!
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:49 PM   #7
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I would feel sorry for anybody who had to work to 69 and 1/2.
Absolutely. And there are plenty of jobs that shouldn't be done by someone that age, with some rare exceptions. I'm thinking public safety jobs, military, construction, mining, commercial aviation, and probably lots of others.

While there are some folks 69 1/2 who can climb mountains and jump out of airplanes, I think they're the minority.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #8
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I have heard that if there is an article that asks a question, the answer is almost always NO. This is the correct answer to the question that is posed in the article's title.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:10 PM   #9
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Good analysis, but I'm not sure where it goes. Which "policymakers" are we talking about?

Employers? Congress? Individual advisers? Or, individuals making "policy" for themselves only?

Employers want to do what's best for the employer, not what's best for the workers. I don't know how they would reflect after-retirement mortality in a way that improves the employers bottom line.

Congress has already provided a higher SS replacement ratio for lower income workers. Are the authors saying the slope of the SS benefit curve should be changed? How far is it "off" today?

Individual advisers can presumably look at their clients and tailor recommendations to the actual health of those individuals. They probably should be aware of the fact that higher income people tend to live longer than the average, but I expect they already are.

Similarly, people making their own plans should think about their own health/longevity. I suppose that people who write retirement advice columns that DIYers might read should periodically mention that their readers should use one of the customized longevity calculators rather than use a population average.
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