When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935 the official retirement age (for legal purposes) was 65.
However, this was not a problem for the government…
Because the life expectancy of the average American male was 58 at the time.
Then, after the depression and World War II, the America’s golden age started. People were able to get a job and work for a company for their whole lives… Then retire with a company pension.
If they lived long enough, they could also benefit from social security that they had paid into.
But in the 1980s and 1990s, pensions started giving way to IRAs and 401Ks.
And people had to save for their own retirement… Then actuaries started to challenge the math of social security.
Now, older people are living longer… And pensions are gone.1 And no one is saving.
Oh, and the robots are coming.
Retirement is Dead.
Yes, 65 is a meaningless number. The average American is expected to live 20 years beyond that… 20 years!
And life expectancy is increasing.
Updated projections by the U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday report that people over age 65 will start to outnumber children by 2035…
By 2060 it’s “old fogey nation”.
But research indicates that our self-esteem drops significantly after 60… Perhaps because we of health problems, or because we stop our careers and cease engaging in meaningful work.
So, keep working.
It would be better for you anyway.
Retirement as we know it is dead…
If You Are Alive, You Should Work.
Retirement wasn’t always a thing, anyway.
In the past, assuming you were able, if you were alive… You worked.
Prepare for it.
Forget retirement. Retirement is not a “right”.
Good riddance… Or just plain “Good”, as Jocko would say.
Indeed, the good news is that technology has made, and is making, it easier to connect with people, and create an income stream from home.
As we move toward Igrarianism, I think the future of retirement is going to be investing in, and building, online businesses that people can run from home, or from incubators like WeWork.
We should help older folks who are at “retirement age” learn how to start an online business, blog, build apps, code, etc.
In doing so they can usefully apply the knowledge it has taken them literally their whole lives to acquire.
While conventional retirement may be dead, there has really never been a better time to learn to be an entrepreneur.
- Perhaps with the exception of military veterans, underfunded and mismanaged public pensions should be eliminated altogether. Their existence is an illogical and mathematically flawed time bomb. A vestige of a bygone era… They are also wholly irresponsible and unfair to tax payers who are forced to fund them in supporting bloated public servant salaries.