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Shippy's avatar

Do you feel age 55 has become redundant in terms of retirement?

Asked by Shippy (9870points) December 13th, 2012

Maybe since I am getting on a bit, I have become more aware of people older than me, by say ten or fifteen years. Most are still very active, and working.

Do you think that the age for retirement will become redundant in the workforce and why?

Plus, do you personally plan to keep on “working” past say age 60. What do you plan to do as work?

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32 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I think most Americans think of retirement age as being 65. Retiring at 55 would be early retirement in my view. I am not sure what you mean by redundant? Can you explain further what exactly you mean by using that word?

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie Some companies will insist on it at age 55 for example.

Coloma's avatar


I think working your ass off til the bitter end sucks. haha
I would love to be retired,but,that’s not happening for me.
This economy has shredded my finances the last 3 years and, quite frankly, I have been really depressed about it lately. I was in a semi-retired place at 45 and now, well…that’s all over and I am extremely unhappy about it, extremely.

I have so many interests that I would prefer to pursue, but….gotta make the cash.
Personally I fucking HATE what it takes to just survive these days, there is so much more to life than work. Bah Humbug!

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I hear you, I was in a better place at age 40 too, to retire. However, I am excited and glad that I can keep on working. Simply because I will be working for myself. Doing something I love. I am pleased that in a way these ages are being seen differently.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy Do those companies often offer a very good pension?

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie No, most companies opted out of offering pensions. So many are desperate. Some do, but there is not enough in terms of financial longevity.

janbb's avatar

Yes – in the US most work until 65 and many work after that out of choice or necessity.

JLeslie's avatar

@shippy forced retirement at such a young age, 55, seems scary to me with no financial support from the company. Do you have social security start at such a young age? 55 is certainly young enough to work at something new, but finding a job at that age can be difficult. My husband and I think in terms of after 50 it might be difficult to find a job if he loses his for some reason or another, so we should save like we might have some years without employment.

When I lived in FL so many of the people I worked with were in their 60’s and 70’s and I loved working with them. I moved there in my 20’s.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie Oh definitely. It’s horrendous. Specially with our Equity Bill so firmly in place. So many are opting of course to continue their own businesses or some sort of work after retirement.. There is no social security here either. Plus Aged Homes are astronomical. I had to fund two parents in one, including diapers and all additional costs. So it’s a mess I feel. Although of course some companies do keep on employees till later of course. I am leaving so I am once again happy at my choice. I am using some of the money from sales of home for courses to do what I would like to do. Looking forward to it.

Judi's avatar

Is it legal in the US to force retirement at 55???

Shippy's avatar

@Judi I’m really not sure on that score. However due to our BEE and Bill of Rights they get pushed out anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

Forced retirement at age 55 is age discrimination unless they offer superior compensation. Not legal in the US.

I would love to retire at my present age if I could have an annual income close to my current salary. But if my daughter graduates from college in four years, I’ll still be 65 when she graduates (I was older when I had kids).

Given the devastation to my retirement from a divorce, I expect to have to work until I am 70 or so.

janbb's avatar

@Judi The OP lives in South Africa.

Bill1939's avatar

If you enjoy the work you do, then you should continue to do so until you no longer like it or can no longer perform it. If you have the resources to retire, then the age you do so is irrelevant. When you are free from the need to generate income you can pursue your interests.

Shippy's avatar

@zenvelo I agree and that could be in our Bill of Rights, but demographically we are a young population. So ratio and quotients need to be in place.

filmfann's avatar

I am 56.
I hope to retire at 59, but may have to change it, depending on the circumstances. It could be I retire in 2014, or I may have to wait until 2018. It all depends on the economy.
I work doing a job that requires a lot of physical labor. I cannot imagine going to 65 doing this. It may be easy for people behind desks to do it, but that isn’t what I do.
I have 35 years of this job behind me, and it tends to tear up the body. I would like to retire while I can still walk.

Shippy's avatar

@filmfann Yes I was also wondering about the age 65, as really what if one kicks the bucket at age 66. Life is too short in that way. So I see this as a positive thing. The question was more about what do you plan to do at retirement age. I hope always to be ever growing, always learning, and always bringing home some swag!

Strauss's avatar

@JLeslie When I was in Florida (in the 1990’s) I was cleaning carpets. Many of my customers were retired couples. All too often, I would see that the man, after working his ass off for years for a comfortable retirement, was extremely frail and/or bedridden, while the wife would be healthy and active.

tedibear's avatar

I would love to be able to retire at age 55, but I don’t see that happening. With the devastation to my 401k (and my husband’s), I’m certain that 60 won’t happen and will be grateful for 65. I have a sneaking suspicion that 68 or 70 is more likely.

cookieman's avatar

I’m 41 and once a year since I turned 35 I get a flyer in the mail from the IRS (US). It basically says, “When you retire at age XX, this is your projected Social Security Income”.

The first one I ever received placed my retirement age (XX) at 62. This age has risen every year since. My most recent one says that my projected retirement age is now 72.

Clearly the IRS has no intention of ever letting me retire because at this rate, by the time I really am 62, they’ll project my reirement at 102.

janbb's avatar

@cookieman Bet you’ll still be a cute cookie!

wundayatta's avatar

Not only is 55 redundant, in the US, age 65 is redundant. I think when we see the budget deal worked out, we will find the retirement age is up to 70. If not, it will be soon. It has to be with the way life spans are increasing.

You’ll have the same issue in South Africa. Life spans will increase as your health system gets better and economy improves. You’ll move the retirement age ever upward. Demographically speaking, you have to. You can’t afford retirement benefits if people live longer and longer, but don’t work longer and longer. It has to be proportional. Maybe one fifth of the average life should be retirement. Maybe only one sixth or seventh. Like, when the average life span is age 100, should we retire at 80? 85? 90?

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy Is there good socialized health care there? One of the biggest worries in America for those who want to retire before age 65 is not having health insurance, or the insurance beng very costly.

@Yetanotheruser I would say that is true some of the time. I think it has to do with a couple things. One, men tend to find their identity in their work, and some don’t adjust to identifying as retired very well. Second, men tend to not take as good a care of health problems, although that seems to be changing, and third, if their jobs were very stressful, along with the stress of being the provider for the family that takes a toll I think. But, that is all changing in my opinion as younger generations have different dynamics in their marriages. Both spouses work, single moms, etc. Also, if the wife dies before the husband, it traditionally is very difficult for men emotionally, more than it is for women. Women get devastated, but they also have better social structure around them usually, girlfriends who come to the rescue.

@Judi I have never heard of such a young forced retirement in the US. There is forced retirement thought. I think most of the military it is 62, I know the Navy is. Some other careers I think are early 60’s.

Forced retirement helps to ensure younger people get jobs I guess? The hope being people plan knowing their jobs will end at 55, save, start up a business, self employment of some sort, and make room for young people to be employed.

burntbonez's avatar

I agree that the age of retirement will keep on getting older. It has to. We can’t afford people not working for so long.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie No there isn’t, that is another problem.

JLeslie's avatar

Wow. Seems quite scary actually.

Bellatrix's avatar

I do think a set age for retirement will become redundant. The age when people can claim the old aged pension is going up here and I don’t think you can be compelled to retire. I think people are healthy for much longer than they were in the past and as long as someone is mentally and physically able to carry out their work, they should be allowed to continue to work. I think older people are an asset in the workforce. I would love to see many more opportunities for those who choose to retire from full-time work to act as mentors for those following behind.

Sunny2's avatar

I have a friend in France who had to retire much earlier than he wanted to because of their laws. He found other activities, but was able and wanted to work longer. We had several men on our faculty who had retired from the military service and got jobs in teaching as a second career. I assume they took courses to qualify.
I think there should be some choice in the matter.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie It really is.

rojo's avatar

Does anyone else see a problem developing with asking people to work longer while the unemployment rate in the US keeps going up? Perhaps we should pay folks to retire so younger people can take their place.

JLeslie's avatar

@rojo I mentioned above that retirment opens up jobs for younger people. I think if we did it systematically in the US we would need to take more social security and medicare out of paychecks so SS and medicare could start at a younger age. Americans overall don’t seem very good at saving. I guess if we had socialized medicine medicare would become unnecessary, but that does not seem close onnthe horizin. Maybe there would be some sort of shift to save more if people knew retirement would be compulsory at a young age?i have my doubts though.

Shippy's avatar

@rojo That sounds great, but affordable I don’t know. But we are speaking from different cultures entirely. No way would we be ‘paid’ to retire. I think though, the way forward or even to stay on point on my question would be to ask again

Plus, do you personally plan to keep on “working” past say age 60. What do you plan to do as work?

It might bode people well in any country to consider this, as we are living longer. So funds are necessary for longer. Not for all but for a lot of people.

As stated earlier, I am looking forward to continuing to earn doing the thing I love like massage, learning, 3D Developing to name a few. Has anyone else thought of any ideas for themselves. Not all companies are reliable in this day and age. One should always consider passive income, and build that up as a continued resource.

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