Generation Wars: Should we pick our own retirement? lot can turn on a birth date—a date when you become old enough to get a driver’s license, or to vote, or to retire and start collecting Social Security retirement benefits. Right now, the government sets the age at which you are eligible to collect Social Security and to get Medicare. And a lot of political games are being played with that age, with implications for harmony or discord between generations.

Would you prefer the right to pick your own retirement age—the age at which you are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits?

Sixty-five percent of Americans think they should have the right, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. If you want to retire early, you could pay more now in Social Security taxes. If you want to put off retirement, you could pay less now. Only 23% of Americans think we shouldn’t have the right to pick our retirement age.

A large majority (70%) of Republicans favor letting people choose their retirement age. This isn’t surprising, given that Republicans generally believe the government shouldn’t make many decisions. Just over half (57%) of Democrats favor the idea.

Do you trust the government to pick a retirement age?

Would you like the right to choose the age at which you qualify?

Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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