At what age should you be allowed to retire?


As the Chancellor today reads out his Autumn statement one of the main points that will stand out to many people is the increase in the state retirement age from 65 to 68 years old being brought forward to the mid-2030’s, with the possibility of it rising even further by the late 40’s. (Is it just me or does it seem a little weird talking about the 40’s in the future tense?). I know that the year 2046 may seem a long way off right now but the move will affect millions of people in their thirties and forties and there is no guarantee that these dates won’t be moved even further forward in the coming years. With this in mind then it did get me to thinking, what age is it reasonable to expect a person to work until?

In the Autumn statement it was mentioned that the rise in the state pension age was being based on the average age to which people are now living, but does that make us any more capable of working so late on in life though? Yes there are some very fit and healthy spring chickens out there, running marathons into their 90’s. By and large though, I’d say that when most people hit 60 they really look like they’re ready for a well earned rest, and who can blame them after so many years of hard work, providing for themselves and their families. Of course if you are retirement savvy – or should we say retirement aware – then you will hopefully be in a position to take matters into your own hands and orchestrate your own early retirement based on your savings and investments. With many people struggling just to get by at the moment though, the percentage of people who will realistically be in a position to do that may well be smaller than in years gone by, with many relying on their state pension to make retirement a viable option.

When taking all of this into account then one thing is for sure. If you haven’t already started thinking about or planning how you are going to fund your retirement, now might be a really good time to start thinking about and planning for it. With the average age of the population continuing to rise the situation doesn’t look as though it’s going to be getting better any time soon. Do you really want to be solely reliant upon a state funded pension for your survival during retirement?

Anyway, back to my original question. At what age do you think you should be eligible to receive your state funded pension or more to the point, at what age do you think it’s realistic to be expected to carry on working until? Do you have any plans in place to allow you to beat this rise in pensionable age and retire when you see fit to do so? When I look at my parents and the state of their overall health, I’m just happy for them that the current proposed dates won’t affect them. For those of us who are in their mid 40’s and under though, working until we’re almost 70 is now a very real proposition for us, unless we think ahead and plan things wisely.

18 Responses to At what age should you be allowed to retire?

  1. Ragnar says:

    In the U.S., for my age group, full retirement age is 67 and maximum retirement benefit (if delayed) is 70. My father in law is 73 and still working, largely because of his hobbies requiring him to continue working to finance them and that the majority of his assets (non-traditional) are untouchable for about another year for business reasons. His transition from full time employment to his current part time 25-30 hours/week) has been a gradual process, but still, he’s working at 73.

    My wife and I have committed to trying to be able to retire 10 years younger, but the cost to do that is tremendous, especially with having basically started saving at 29. Most people delude themselves about the costs of retirement, somehow expecting their costs to be lower, but also saying they want to travel, help their kids and take care of their health, none of which is in the estimated savings amount. They refuse to see the real cost…

    It’s possible to work that late in life, although full time employment is probably beyond the capacity for many. Further, I expect people from both our countries will find themselves working until they physically cannot anymore.

    • Adam Buller says:

      That’s a great point about retirement expectations and savings being a wealth apart Ragnar. It’s also really interesting to hear how things work over in the US. One of my old teachers used to have a saying on the wall that said ‘We don’t stop working and playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop working and playing’. The way things are going, I’m hoping that statement holds true!

  2. Working seniors = bigger burden on health care and the younger workforce. I personally think 63-5 should remain retirement age. The current plan is to save for us to retire at 63.

  3. The right age to retire is when you’re financially ready. Pension plans obviously have a required age, but with the world shifting to non-pension jobs, that’s no longer the case. If you can save up enough in your 401k and IRA, you should be allowed to retire anytime you want, albeit without social security or access to your retirement accounts until the legal age of disbursement.

    • Adam Buller says:

      That’s it Bobby, there are so many people who will be almost solely reliant on a state pension that the age the government sets for eligibility really does dictate the age they will be able to retire. It’s becoming more and more important for people to plan adequately for retirement yet less people are doing it. A worrying state of affairs.

  4. In Canada our retirement age keeps getting pushed back because the baby boomers have been a huge strain on our system. We’re at 67 now from 65 just a couple of years ago but I have no doubt that it will be even later in a few more years.

  5. Talking about the 40s as the future totally freaks me out.

    As for retirement, my parents look exhausted. They’re 62, showing no signs of stopping work, but they could really use a rest.

  6. I’m 34 and plan to be able to retire in ten years if I want to. I am buying rental properties firmly retirement. I don’t have to worry about eating up my principal in retirement because I can live off cash flow. I don’t buy into the save, save, save, save plan at all.

  7. In my opinion, if you can show the government that you can financially retire, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have access to those funds. But of course if they aren’t going to get your tax dollars from you contributing to those accounts, they have to penalize you in some way.

  8. Usiere says:

    You hit the nail on the head with the last 2 sentences. I believe there is no one age fits age. It will keep moving as available resources to government continues to dwindle in comparison to commitments. One’s retirement age is one’s choice. If you don’t make that choice, the government makes it for you

  9. Martin says:

    It is a hard one for me to really answer. The way the UK does it confuses me. They are constantly raising the retirement limit but then complaining about the amount of younger people out of work. Not sure how it would work past a theory but surely let the older people rest or volunteer whilst providing a good retirement fund and let the younger people find work so there is less people on benefits?

    • Adam Buller says:

      I suppose this explains the real reason why those in school now have to stay until they’re 18 instead of 16 now doesn’t it. It all seems a little backwards I have to admit.

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