Chart of the Day: Average Retirement Age Makes a Comeback

The average retirement age may be higher today than in the early 2000s and the two preceding decades, but research from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research shows that retirement ages were once even higher. 

Dating back to 1962, the Retirement Research Center mapped the average retirement age to show that today’s upswing may be near-record, but a time of post-65 retirement age is not beyond memory for many people approaching retirement age today. 



“The average U.S. age for men retiring from work has gradually increased to 64,” BC’s “Squared Away” blog writes. “Yet age 62 continues to be held out as the popular standard, perhaps because that’s Americans’ marker for Social Security eligibility.

“Is retirement at age 62 destined be a casualty of dovetailing medical, financial, economic and even political trends? Many baby boomers are already postponing retirement into their mid- or even late 60s.”

Read the blog post and see the original chart

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • If looked at from the point of view of expect longevity during those earlier years, initial retirement becomes even more interesting. The kind of comparisons being done by the Center reminds one of looking at the costs of bread and milk in 1934 and today without taking into consideration general inflation or the average income of people in 1934 and today.

    Comparisons are only reasonable when a context is provided for each period or situation under comparison.

    • Would be fascinating to see this chart with an extra line on it denoting the expected lifespan of a man at retirement age in each year. My guess is that we’d see a steadily increasing gap between the two lines, which is the root of our ‘entitlements’ budget gap in social security and medicare.

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