Why 65 was chosen for retirement
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 11 years ago
From the Miles City Daily Star, February 5, 1936:

WASHINGTON--Girls born today may expect to live 62.6 years, boys 59.1. The difference of life expectancy between men and women is attributed to the greater stress of life for men in industry.

People weren't going to live to be old enough to retire, on average, so there were never expected to be such a huge number of people dependent on Social Security. If we had upped retirement age every time life expectancy went up, I wonder what retirement age would be today.
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Posted by ron h (+57) 11 years ago
bottom line the gov wants to take your hard earned money
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Posted by Wil Nelson (+76) 11 years ago
As I recall the retirement age of 65 or so comes from Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany from sometime around the late 1800's or early 1900's. As to which Wilhelm I do not remember.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 11 years ago
I think retirement should be around 75 now. I have seen many people retire in their early 60s and just waste away from having no purpose in life and getting no regular exercise. Personally, I don't see why people look forward to retirement so much, especially if you're not going to be wealthy enough to do a lot of traveling etc. Fishing and golf are great things to do on a Saturday, not something to base your life on IMO. If you don't like your job, find one that you do like, but I can't see sitting around the house being an improvement, at least after the first couple weeks. A lot of people at 65 have 20-30 years left. Do you really want to play golf and watch TV for 20+ years?

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (2/5/2011)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1911) 11 years ago
Not base your life on fishing?

I agree with Levi. 75 makes a lot more sense today.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 11 years ago
Mr. Nelson is right about it originally being a German idea, the retirement age of 65. I was just demonstrating why it was chosen. Very few people reached it.

I could retire today but I have a million things to keep me busy besides golf! Sadly, I will probably just work part time until I take the long dirt nap.
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Posted by M T Zook (+510) 11 years ago
Personally, I want to retire today, at age 34. I want to travel, I can do it without company benefits. I want to share time with my kids and other relatives. I want to donate time and services to the community. But if I want to sleep in, i would like that option too.

I don't want to spend my life watching TV or golfing. In fact, if I had my way, we would have one TV in the house and only hooked to an antenna.

Retirement should be about exploring, both the bigger world and the one inside. Learning to cook new food, reading the top 100 books that everybody should read, becoming active in your community.

Working that long, your body begins to physically fail. Not everybody of course, there are exceptions, but if it hurts you day in and day out to go to work until the mandatory age 75 retirement, that would suck.

Retirement should be laddered (more that it is already), so if you want to go early, you can. Personally, I am not counting on a Social Security benefit.
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Posted by aaron bruce (+199) 11 years ago
it will be a cold day in hell when i let the government tell me when i can quit working. social security is a scam. there are some wierd ideas people have about government. one of them is the debate over social security age, and minimum wage rates.

it would seem to me that if the government was doing its job correctly, the country would be going in a direction that u.s. citizens could maintain a 2007 lifestyle on a 1953 pay rate. and the ability to retire would be easily achieved by every citizen that put a little money away from every check. but no, wages gotta go up and because we cant afford ss we gotta raise the age of retirement. seems silly to me. is there anything that the government hasnt screwed up???
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 11 years ago
Retirement should be about exploring, both the bigger world and the one inside. Learning to cook new food, reading the top 100 books that everybody should read, becoming active in your community.


I'm not claiming to know what retirement is like, but it seems to me that you can do all that stuff without quitting your job, and that stuff doesn't sound like enough to keep you busy all day long 7 days a week. Traveling is great, but a lot of retired people are on a fixed income that's not going to allow them to circle the world. Sure you can get a mobile home and drive around staying in campgrounds, but to me that sounds more fun as a 2 week vacation than a year round occupation.

If you want to quit your current job and take one that is less demanding or more personally rewarding (but less financially rewarding) that is great, but from my observations of older folks in my life, the ones that have a reason that they have to get out of bed every morning are far happier and healthier than the ones that don't. I know people who are severely physically degraded just because they don't have things to do every day. Nothing makes you age more than sitting around in your house. I think a lot of people think that they have lots of things that they want to do but in reality it doesn't add up to 8 hours a day 5 days a week that you are going to need to fill once you quit work, especially if you're going to be living on less money than you had when you were working which is almost universally the case.

My grandfather retired in his 50s and went fishing. After about 5 years he was sick of fishing and still had 30 years (and counting) of life to fill. I don't think that's an uncommon story. Taking your favorite hobby and trying to do it full time is a good way to take all the fun out of your favorite hobby. Another woman I know quit doing any kind of work around 10 years ago and she is 70ish now and practically an invalid due to 10 years of sitting around watching TV. It's not good for you. People her age who are more active look 10 years younger than she does.

I'm not talking about government policy here, but my general philosophy on life. Doing work that that is meaningful to you and challenging is the way to be happy. Leisure is great, but doing it full time just leads to you feeling useless and depressed, or I think that's the way it would effect me. Personally, I don't plan on retiring until I'm physically unable to do any sort of job.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6172) 11 years ago
it will be a cold day in hell when i let the government tell me when i can quit working.


Does this mean that you think you should be able to draw SS whenever you feel like it?
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Posted by Wayne White (+266) 11 years ago
You wil know when you get to whatever age you retire that the time is right. One thing I have learned is that I have earned the right to do what I want when I want. There is plenty to do out here and if you have children you can help them. I have exercised harder since I retired because I have the time, I can do anything I want and I dont have to be in a hurry. Remember because the age expectancy may be 78 or whatever, doesnt mean you will make it there, enjoy it while you can. The biggest thing I can recommend is plan for it and put something away to give yourself some opportunity to have some fun. Golf and fishing can be expensive/
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Posted by Leif Ronning (+70) 11 years ago
I agree with Wayne. I retired at 58 and have never regretted or looked back. I am so busy I wonder when I had time for a full time job. The trick is to have other things set up to fill your time. Most people who retire a little early like I did have part time jobs of which I have two and/or hobbies. Miles City is a great area to find cheap things to do when retired. I have better luck exercizing when the weather is nice and this winter has been horrible but I know spring will come and when the streets melt off I will be back on my bike and taking off some winter fat. Leif
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 11 years ago
Well, for the record, I'd call that more of a change in career than a retirement. If you are sick of your job and in a position to do without the paycheck then I'm all for quitting and drawing your pension or whatever you have, but I think you need something more than leisure to fill your time if you want to be happy. It sounds like you have responsibilities and things to do every day that are important and that's all it really takes. All I'm saying is that on top of having 40 hours a week to fill, you also need something to give you a sense of accomplishment and I don't think that a life of strictly relaxation and recreation is going to be very satisfying to most people in the long run. Then again, I'm 33 years old and not so arrogant as to think I know what it's like being retired, I'm just going by what I've seen with a few people in my life.
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Posted by Wayne White (+266) 11 years ago
33 man your just a pup. Hey Leif been a long long time, how is Oscar and what is he up to. Glad you only had to go 58. I guess the bottom line is when can you afford to retire. A lot of business and companies are doing away with retirements and just doing 401s. Whatever know what you have and work it to make as much cash as you can. Save, may be hard today but worth it tomorrow. Your 33 today and 66 tomorrow, hope you dont have to work till you drop, this is a special time, you need to enjoy it.
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Posted by korky II (+615) 11 years ago
Have no idea why it was the chosen age. I do know I retired at 64 and was completely bored with life even though I volunteered my services in many different ways. Tried the fishing route and that was fine for a while. Had a mild heart attack at 65 and that got me thinking if I didn't do something different with my life I'd probably be dead within a year or to. So I went back to work, (ranch work) and have been happy ever since and feeling better than I have in years. The job I have still allows enough time to go do some of the retirement scene, but yet gives me the satisfaction of have a job and purpose.
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