The roots of modern retirement can be traced back to 1881, and Otto Von Bismarck. The Prussian prime minister proposed a government-backed support system for the older members of society. It was a radical idea at the time, because if you were alive, you worked.
It wasn’t until the end of that decade that an actual retirement system was implemented. The German government settled on age 70 to begin offering financial assistance. The catch? It aligned with the life expectancy of the time. The system was effectively created to support those who managed to live beyond expectations. It wasn’t designed to offer 20, 30, or even 50 years of support.
Fast forward to 1935, when the American government officially implemented their own form of government supported retirement. The Social Security Act was passed, and the official retirement age was set at 65.
The life expectancy for men in 1935 was 58. Most would never collect.
Since the age 65 was derived from life expectancy, we can look at it the same way today.
Based on the same framework, the general retirement age should actually be age 87.
The typical retirement mindset does not serve us anymore—it puts us in a situation that leaves us at a disadvantage.
The reality is, most people are thinking from an emotional place, and not at a critical level. The current retirement model is not sustainable, and it only becomes less so as our own life expectations rise. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to live more in the present, and to look at the big picture when it comes to our money. We need to begin creating strategies that will help each of us to navigate today and enjoy our added longevity tomorrow with our own planned financial security, not centered upon Social Security solely. Social Security should be the frosting on our retirement cake, not the entire cake.
An extended Life – now that’s something to celebrate.