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View Diary: Dear Mr. Alan Simpson: An Apology (208 comments)

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  •  The other problem is that people change jobs. (2+ / 0-)
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    Angie in WA State, myrealname

    If a person is, let's say, a typesetter - fine, not a physical job.

    What if they automate that job when that person is 62, and all they can get is work on a loading dock?

    Seems pretty wacked to me.  Anyone who wanted the earlier retirement would just quit their current job and try to get one rated "physically demanding" for a quick minute so they could retire.

    'Wall Street has just done a nose dive,' tell them, 'Those Republican organizations don't interest me in the least' Will Rogers advice to FDR

    by JesseCW on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 07:14:07 AM PDT

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    •  But you have to take into consideration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scribe, myrealname, laker

      that working a physically demanding job for years wears down your body faster.

      If you don't work that job, you might physically be younger than someone else. Look at an old construction worker vs. an old lawyer. The lawyer will look considerably younger, because he's had better access to health care, hasn't been lifting/hauling/climbing/working with dangerous tools/breathing in chemicals/dust/dirt.

      If that lawyer then decides at 62 to go work in construction, he's likely to be able to handle it much better physically than a 62 yrs old who's been doing it for 40 yrs.

      Of course, he's also likely to saw off a finger, toe, ruin more than he fixes, break something in a fall, etc., because he doesn't have that 40 yrs of experience in construction work.

      But I can see the rationale behind different retirement ages based on job history. You would adjust the retirement age based on how many years someone had working in a particular industry.

      My husband is a good example - he sat behind a desk for 20 yrs in the AF. Then he retired and started working restaurant/retail work. He's spent the last 20 yrs working weird hours and on his feet all day, which has taken a toll on him. So if they did this, he'd get the 0 differential for his AF years, and perhaps a +1 for his restaurant/retail years, which might balance out to a +.5, and allow him to retire at full benefits a year or so earlier.  

      That would make sense to me.

      •  I fully understand why hiking the retirement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        age is inhumane.

        I contest that it's "workable" to adjust it based on occupation.

        If you hubsand suffered chronic low-back pain as a result of spending all day on his feet, slowing him down and causing him to be unable to compete for jobs, it would be irrelevent that he'd spent 20 years in the AF.

        All that would matters, from a humane standpoint, would be his inability to get work that would support him decently.

        That leaves out, of course, that essentially all jobs have a physical component.  Ask "desk job" data processers unable to work because of carpal tunnel.

        'Wall Street has just done a nose dive,' tell them, 'Those Republican organizations don't interest me in the least' Will Rogers advice to FDR

        by JesseCW on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:44:26 AM PDT

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      •  "Physical" jobs (4+ / 0-)

        I don't know -- I would make two contentions. One is, it doesn't always work that way. My grandfather was a union plumber. He was in spectacular physical shape, and could carry a cast-iron bathtub upstairs on his back till the day he retired. I write software, and I am in crappy shape because I sit around at a desk all day and into the night, and I'm not (yet) motivated enough to squeeze a gym visit into my day. My back hurts, my blood pressure's medicated, yadda yadda. Sometimes the desk job isn't doing you a favor.

        My other contention is, physical strength is not the only thing that goes as you age. It's different for everyone, but the mental acuity to perform some non-physical jobs isn't there any more for some people by the time they reach retirement age. Others are 95 and sharp as a tack, the mental equivalent of my bathtub-carrying grandpa.

        I just don't think there's a blanket way to say, this is the age at which a holder of this category of jobs should be allowed to retire, and this higher age is allowable for these other jobs. It's true that every arrangement is unfair to someone, but once you start trying to parse out who can retire when, you only make a bigger mess.

        What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? - George Eliot

        by belinda ridgewood on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 10:10:02 AM PDT

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        •  I see this point too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scribe, belinda ridgewood

          and I also sit at a desk all day, and I'm horribly out of shape. So I know what you mean.

          I also know what you mean about the mental acuity - it takes me a little longer now to get those new concepts. Not long, but longer than it used to. I have to think about it more, have to rework my previous habits, and it takes more effort.

          I'm really kinda ambivalent about it. Perhaps there should be some more retirement options?

      •  It would be an administrative nightmare (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scribe, belinda ridgewood

        and prime for abuse.

        Keep it simple.

        Now where did I put my shot glass?

        by aztecraingod on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 11:18:26 AM PDT

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