When Should Someone Be Able to Retire?

Many people look forward to retiring as soon as possible to begin doing some of the activities they’ve looked forward to for some time. Others prefer working for many years longer to continue spending time with the people they enjoy seeing every day. For many countries in Europe, that retirement decision may no longer be up to the individual.

As some of the hardest hit areas in Europe struggle with a massive debt crisis, many governments are choosing to boost the minimum retirement age to compensate. The measure isn’t a popular one with most citizens of impacted countries, such as Italy, France and Greece, and many are choosing to express their frustration in government elections.

After announcing an increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67, the Prime Minister of Spain was voted out of office. When the President of France supported a measure to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62, he also lost in his re-election bid. Citizens in Greece protested strongly when their retirement age was increased as a part of austerity measures. Though resistance to these changes is high, most countries in the European Union are considering bumping up the minimum retirement age to as high as 69 within the foreseeable future.

So far, in the United States, the issue of increasing the minimum age hasn’t been a part of recent fiscal efforts. Do you think it should be?



  1. Grannybunny

     /  December 5, 2012

    Actually, I have heard discussions of — again — raising the full retirement age for Social Security benefits, as part of the fiscal cliff debate. Social Security isn’t a factor in the “cliff” — the expiring Bush tax cuts and Sequestration budget cuts are — but will need further reform thereafter, since it will no longer be able to pay full benefits after 2033.

  2. Jonn

     /  December 5, 2012

    I’m not anywhere close to retirement right now, and I have to wonder what the minimum age will be when I eventually get there. I guess all we can really do is work until we can afford not to. If that day never comes, I hope I at least have a job I enjoy.

  3. Barbara Rohde

     /  December 6, 2012

    I retired at age 56 from 30 years in State government service; and had to go back to work 2 years ago. Fortunately, I was able to get on part-time for USPS as a PMR, and I hope that I will be able to work until I am 70… health and physical demands permitting!

  4. Anonymous

     /  December 6, 2012

    The retirement age should not change. If employees want to work longer, it should be a choice. Many people are not able to work past 65 and need to apply for disability before that age because they can no longer work, especially after years of hard labor. If someone wants to retire earlier and they can afford to do so, that’s fine too.

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