Here’s why a Yale law professor suggests retirement age be moved to 76
Here’s a stunning suggestion: The United States government should raise the Social Security retirement age for receiving full benefits to 76, from today’s 66 to 67. That’s what Anne L. Alstott, a Yale Law School professor and author of “A New Deal for Old Age” believes. She thinks it would make things “fairer.”
Chris Farell, a blogger with Next Avenue and an “unretirement expert” had this to say about that on a recent blog post on nextavenue.org.
“Yes. Alstott has actually thoughtfully framed a moral and practical — albeit highly provocative — argument for overhauling Social Security in ways that lives up to her book’s subtitle: Toward a Progressive Retirement. She wants to redesign Social Security to offer greater support to Americans who’ve been dealt a harsh hand, due to rising inequality in income, health, longevity, disability, opportunities and family stability.
“For the well-off, age 65 now represents late middle age. It isn’t until age 80 or so that the average better-off American feels old or faces serious impediments to work and healthy leisure,” Alstott writes in the book’s introduction. “By contrast, many lower earners struggle to stay in the workforce to age 65. Many face disability in their early 60s, and many more confront limited job options and long-term unemployment.”
“Alstott rightly maintains that the Third Age phenomenon calls for putting the ability to work at the core of any Social Security reforms.
“And here’s another Social Security proposal from Alstott that might make you sit up in your chair: The government should repeal the Social Security spousal benefit. (Under current law, with the spousal benefit, if you’re married, you may be able to get Social Security benefits equal to as much as half your spouse’s Full Retirement Account.) Alstott calls the spousal benefit “an artifact of family life in the mid-twentieth century, when most wives did not work out of the home.”
“You may find Alstott’s ideas disconcerting. But what makes her book so important is that it addresses the reality that Americans in the aggregate are living longer, healthier lives than in the past. She uses the catchphrase Third Age (I prefer unretirement). Alstott rightly maintains that the Third Age phenomenon calls for putting the ability to work at the core of any Social Security reforms.
“As a matter of justice over the life cycle, the