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Discuss Question 13

13. FISCAL KNOWLEDGE: Social Security’s early and normal retirement eligibility ages appropriately take into account past and future (projected) changes in life expectancy.

ANSWER: False – While life expectancy has increased significantly over the past decades, Social Security (and Medicare) does not adequately tie its early and normal retirement ages to past and expected future increases in life expectancy.


3 Responses to “Discuss Question 13”

  1. Dennis says:

    Sorry folks… you didn’t ask if the adjustment was “adequate”. You asked if an appropriate adjustment had been made.
    Suggestion: How about you send Walker over to SSA to have a chat about basic economics with them? That should straighten it out.
    Suggestion #2: How about we defund and de-staff SSA. That would at least be a constitutional step in the right direction.

  2. Richard Witty says:

    It does slowly through legislation, though not through regulation, like COLA increases are thought of as automatic.

    The social security retirement age has increase a few times since the inception of the program, to reflect increased life expectancy.

    There is a serious mismatch though between working life expectancy and life expectancy now. Physical workers, and many desk workers, experience much shorter working lives than the social security retirement age.

    Check out how many over 50 years of age are unemployed currently, and will never work again.

  3. Greg says:

    Men attaining age 65 in 1990 can expect to live for 15.3 years compared to 12.7 years for men attaining 65 back in 1940.

    So for SS purposes life expectancy has increased by 2.8 years, however the full benefit age for SS has risen from 65 to 67 leaving a 10 month gap in the rise of age, which is relatively insignificant.

    Where the SS numbers break is how many people actually get to retirement age. In 1940 only 53.9% of men reached 65, in 1990 that number was 72.3%. Women had an equal increase as well. So 20% more of the population is actually living long enough to receive the benefits that they paid for.
    By the way, these numbers come from the SS administration.

    Lets be honest and recognize that congress has spent the money, so the effective federal tax rate isn’t the 18% that even this site advertises, it is your tax rate PLUS your SS tax as well making the effective rate more like 30-32%. That doesn’t need to go up, it needs to be cut.


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