What makes 66 the "golden age" anyways?  Besides history, tradition, and Social Security law.

What happens to a Society, when the unemployed above a certain age -- say 50 -- are routinely shunned from most gainful employment opportunities?

Well, you end up with a Society with very tepid growth. You get a Society full of fear and misery.  A Society that becomes overly risk-adverse, because of the one simple recurring thought:

"What in the world would I do, if I lost this Job?"

(assuming you are still lucky enough, to have one.)

So the misery lingers on.  Life is Work.  Work is Life.  And at times, both are Hell.

6 months after unemployment aid cutoff, job-seekers report tough market

by Eric Frazier, charlotteobserver.com -- Jan. 11, 2014

Six months after North Carolina’s much-debated decision to cut off federal long-term unemployment benefits for nearly 70,000 people, some of the jobless have taken on lower-paying part-time posts; others have given up looking.

One thing they all seem to agree on: The job market, despite declining unemployment rates, remains brutally competitive, with far more applicants than good job openings. It’s even more difficult, they say, for job seekers over 50.

Losing the benefits has prompted some to take lower-paying jobs they might have turned down before, the study found. Others have stopped looking -- which means they aren’t counted as part of the jobless rate.

It's not like there isn't "a demand" for Early Retirement ... more and more people are choosing it, even though they'd rather not (due the penalties of early-withdrawal; more on that later).

It seems that 62 may become the new defacto "golden age" -- tradition or not.

Unemployment Pushes Workers Into Early Retirement

by Tamara Keith, npr.org -- April 28, 2010


Filing For Early Retirement

"But we also see that there are those people who at age 62 or 63 might have lost their jobs and find it harder to find new employment and decide to take retirement benefits earlier," says Fichtner. "On net, there seems to be more people filing for early benefits than delaying."

A Penalty For Early Payments

For most, the full retirement age is currently 66. But people can start drawing Social Security as early as 62. Drawing early, however, cuts monthly payments.

Continuing To Work

In other words, if you decide to file for Social Security early, you still have options. So, don't assume that just because you've received a few checks you are locked into lower payments for life.

Hmmm?   We are "not locked in at Early Retirement rates"?  This has the potential to become the new Extended Unemployment Insurance plan.  And guess what Republicans, it's already "paid for" too ... just got to redeem those well-invested Government IOU's ...

Serious thinkers, give many a serious reason for lowering the Social Security Retirement Age -- even beyond the current 62 age threshold.

It seems such a move would do many things for a sluggish economy -- including lower the Deficits, and increase revenues Social Security and Medicare too. As that other "lost generation" begin to put their lagging careers on a "serious" track, for a lifetime of earnings.  ... As used to be our "traditional way."

Don’t Cut Social Security -- Lower the Retirement Age and Open Up More Jobs

by Dave Johnson, Seeing The Forest, thecontributor.com -- Nov 11, 2013

Right now America has high unemployment overall but an especially severe youth unemployment crisis -- a huge setback for an entire generation, with terrible economic effects for them and the country. At the same time, older people are clinging to jobs, waiting until their retirement benefits kick in. Plenty of them could and would happily take a rest with just a bit of help. Wouldn’t lowering the retirement age open up badly-needed jobs for younger workers?

But there’s more. Moving unemployed younger people into jobs would lower our “safety-net” costs as fewer people relied on public benefits to make ends meet reducing government spending. Getting people working also increases tax revenue and contributions to Social Security and Medicare. And getting people working also increases consumer demand, which gets more people working and increases tax revenue. So moving people into jobs attacks America’s deficit problem from both ends.

Other Economic Benefits

Lowering employment and driving up wages means fewer people defaulting on student loans and mortgages.

And we should consider that the travel, hospitality and tourism industries would greatly benefit from a surge of relatively young retirees.

PS: I wrote to economist James K Galbraith, who offered a caveat. He wrote,

I would not do it permanently.  It will be more effective as a strategy if you make the option more attractive for a brief window -- say three years. You could then lure quite a few people who are ready to quit out of the workforce, open up jobs, and at the same time leave people who want to continue working alone.”

Hurry while supplies last, those of us, stuck in Treadmill Employment Purgatory, or worse.

Step aside for the good of your country;  live out those retirement dreams while you still have the energy;  give some other young person a chance to excel.

I could see it.  I would do it.  If only given the opportunity to ... escape take a graceful exit ramp, to some degree of retirement security.

But first our Congress has to wake up and smell the "not enough jobs to go around" Coffee.

And then next, they got to do something about this 7% per year Early-Withdrawal penalty. Even inflation doesn't take a bite like that;  So why should our Early Retirement options ding us, for doing the patriotic thing?  ... by making economic room for "future generations."

Why You Should Collect Social Security Early

by Tom Sightings, money.usnews.com --June 25, 2013

The penalty for taking Social Security early is around 7 percent a year, and the bonus for delaying is also about 7 percent a year. If your benefit at age 66 is figured at the average of $1,268 a month, then you'll only receive about $1,180 per month if you sign up at age 65. If you wait until 67, your benefit will grow to almost $1,360. And if you can delay until age 70, your monthly benefit will expand by almost a third to around $1,660 -- for the rest of your life, even if you live to 100.

Life used to be an adventure.  Life used to productive.  Life used to be fun.

It can be so again ... Congress just needs to enact 4 little words:

Lower the Retirement Age.

and Rebuild the Economy ... job by careering-building job.


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