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Monday, March 18, 2013

Making A Case For Delayed Retirement

Janice Durflinger poses for a photo at her workplace in Lincoln, Neb., in August 2012. Durflinger is still working at age 76, running computer software programs for a bank. Still, she worries that a higher retirement age would be tough on people with more physically demanding jobs. (Nati Harnik/AP)

Janice Durflinger poses for a photo at her workplace in Lincoln, Neb., in August 2012. Durflinger is still working at age 76, running computer software programs for a bank. Still, she worries that a higher retirement age would be tough on people with more physically demanding jobs. (Nati Harnik/AP)

Economist Eugene Steuerle says that in a study he did for the Urban Institute, he and his colleagues found that people who delay retirement by working just one more year would increase their retirement income by nine percent.

Working an additional five years would raise retirement incomes by more than 50 percent, he said.

And, on average, delaying taking your benefits does not amount to a pay cut, Steuerle said, because of the increase in your benefits and income from delaying retirement.

Steuerle argues that working longer is even more important for poorer workers, because early retirement advantages the rich.

But he says, if we encourage later retirement, we also need to make provisions for people who cannot work longer because of their health or the nature of their work.

Steuerle also says that delaying retirement is good for the economy and creates more jobs for younger workers.

And he says because of our population demographic, there is just a plain economic need for older workers in the work force.

Should we all be working longer as we live longer? And should we raise the eligibility age for retirement benefits? Join the debate on Facebook.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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