Average Retirement AgePosted on October 23rd, 2010 William No comments
You may have heard that one of the reasons that Social Security is starting to have trouble is that, back in the 1930s when the program was started, not all that many people lived to be 65! Over the decades, the average lifespan has gone up much faster than the retirement age; as of this writing, while reduced Social Security benefits are available from age 62, the retirement age to collect full benefits is gradually increasing (by 2 months per year) from 65 to 67, and it has been proposed that this should increase further.
But forget full retirement age for a moment; what's the average retirement age? According to the US Census Bureau, in the US the average retirement age is 62 (and this has been decreasing) and the average length of retirement is 18 years (and this has been increasing). What does this mean? We're retiring earlier, and living for longer. That makes it even more important to start planning and saving now, as we have ever-fewer years to save ever-more money for retirement. However, note that just because the average retirement age is 62 doesn't mean you're required to retire then - every extra year you work is quite a bit more than a year longer you can live without running out of money. You may want to have as many retirement years as possible, but isn't it better to be financially secure and ready to enjoy them?