Should Social Security Raise Its Retirement Age?

Social Security is an essential part of how people make ends meet in retirement. But some business leaders, including the CEOs of AT&T , Caesars Entertainment , and several other major corporations, believe raising retirement age would save the program from financial trouble in the future.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, the Fool's director of investment planning, takes a closer look at the debate over raising Social Security's retirement age. He points out that life expectancies have risen, leading some to believe that raising the full retirement age from 67 to 70 is consistent with its original intended purpose. Moreover, he notes research that says that such a move could eliminate about a third of the program's expected financial shortfall. However, opponents of the move argue that the distributional impacts of raising the retirement age disproportionately affect the poor. Similar percentage reductions in benefits make a bigger impact on low-income recipients' standards of living than wealthier recipients.

Finally, Dan looks at the effect of such a move on other benefits, discussing research that shows survivors' and disability benefits wouldn't change much, but spousal benefits could be adversely affected by a rise in the retirement age.

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