Retirement, Elderly Aging, and Health

What is the best retirement age for elderly?
How is a senior‘s health?
When should an elderly parent file for Social Security benefits?

In 1983, Congress raised the age at which seniors could collect their full Social Security benefits. This change was driven by forcasting population and the extension of average years. Congress needed to change the program in order to prolong financial benefits and to contain costs. A person born in 1937 or earlier could receive full benefits at age 65; since then, the age has been inching gradually upward so that people born in 1960 or later will have to wait until they are 67.

Congress justified this change with a prediction that older Americans would be living longer, so they’d collect Social Security for more years, paired with another prediction that seniors would be healthier and hence able to work longer.

However, recently published research shows that those 1983 predictions missed the mark. People today who are reaching Social Security age are, in fact, not healthier. And life expectancy actually may have declined a bit. According to the study, “younger cohorts are facing more burdensome health issues, even as they have to wait until an older age to retire, so they will have to do so in poorer health.”

Are we living longer? It depends — on an individual’s lifestyle, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and the work that they did. For example, seniors who work at physically demanding jobs are less likely to be able to work into their later years — yet are the most likely to rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income.

In any case, it’s certainly a good bet that Congress will not roll back the age levels any time soon. So as we plan for our senior years, financial management and retirement savings should be a top priority. Longevity, for many elderly, may strain household finances.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

Comments are closed.