Is 70 the new 62 when it comes to retirement age?


Financial advisor Suze Orman strongly suggests to aim for retirement at 70.

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Suze Orman, the famed financial guru from “Oprah,” strongly advised recently in her national column that “70 is the new retirement age — not a month or year before.”

Orman said her initial reason for boosting the retirement age is that people are living longer.

“Healthy people in their 60s today have about a 50 percent chance of living into their 90s,” she said. “Wait until 70 (to take Social Security) and your annual benefit will be 76 percent more than what you’re eligible for at 62. That higher payment can be a huge help in supporting you through a long life.”

Gwenne Gray, 75, a Florida resident who works fulfilling mail orders for a small business, said he could not wait until 70 to begin collecting his Social Security benefits.

“Even though I took Social Security at 67, it was not because I wanted to,” he said. “I was forced by my situation. I would have much rather waited until 70. I have continued to work though it’s part time. Many seniors can’t really retire at 70 as the cost of living and medications are quite high.”

Maryellen Cantera, 65, a Florida resident working in real estate, said she is working to delay her retirement.

“I’m working full time now and I’d like to be able to save enough money so that by the time I’m 70, I have enough money to retire on Social Security,” Cantera said. “I likely will work part time after I retire. Both my parents lived to be older than 95, so knowing that I could have another 30 years, the money has to go a long way. It’s like 70 is kind of like 60 now. People are living longer and healthier lifestyles and are able to continue to work.”

Mary Weller, 69, an adjunct instructor of Developmental Reading at Eastern Florida State College, said it’s really up to each person to decide whether they want to work until age 70.

“I love what I do; I’m at the top of my game, and I don’t see an end in sight anymore,” she said. “Teaching is a fulfilling career no matter the challenges. And I tell my friends, ‘As long as there is hair dye and stylish shoes with good support, I’ll keep teaching.’ ”