What Age Can You Retire?

All across the world, retirement ages are increasing. As people live longer and aging populations increse the burden on government pension payments, many nations are increasing their retirement age.

For example, in the US, full retirement age (also called ‘normal retirement age’) had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959.

The Congress cited improvements in the health of older people and increases in average life expectancy as primary reasons for increasing the normal retirement age.

Deciding when you plan to retire will also affect your pension contributions. If you have a 401k plan, you will need to adjust your contributions depending at what age you plan to stop work. You may have to make ‘catch-up’ contributions (from the age of 50) if you plan to retire early. Or, you may be able to pay less if you plan to defer taking your retirement benefits until the latest point (age 70.5).

For most Americans, the normal retirement age is around 66 years old. So, how does this compare to other OECD countries? Our map below shows the normal retirement date in dozens of other OECD countries. Hover over a country to see the retirement age in that nation.


You’ll see from the map that some countries – Japan and France, for example – have a normal retirement age of just 60 years old. Others, such as Norway, ask people to work until the age of 67. How does your retirement age compare? Let us know in the comments below.

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Total 5 comments are posted
  1. What if you had the money to pay your 401k for the years needed for amount you wanted could you pay it and just wait till your the retirement age

    Posted by : mike
  2. I’d be willing and hopefully able to work until age 70…but for whom? We aren’t all in jobs that have protection from layoff or being phased out. Who will be hiring all these 60+ year old workers?

    Posted by : Diane
  3. Without risk you need to buy CD’s certificates of deosipt and money market accounts that are both FDIC insured that way there is no or very low risk. also US savings bonds and T- bills are no risk. Mutual funds, and other items are more risky. you can make the group of accounts (CD’s, Tbills) your IRA and it is tax sheltered but then if you make it an IRA you can not withdrawal until you are at least 59.5 years old. add to it at least 10% of your income. also look into a 401K at work because you may get matching funds then put that 401K into a low risk or no risk investment that is offered under the 401k plan. Contibrute at least enough to get the full match or if no match put at least 10% into this and you will be oK. Actually better than OK if you open both the iRA and 401K and save 20% of your income between the two.

    Posted by : Shane
  4. It is unbelievable that the US has so few vacation days and such a high retirement age. It truly shows how much money the government has mismanaged. There is no way on earth that a country with our resources should have to put such a strain on it’s citizens! Two weeks a year can easily be taken up by emergencies and virtually forces a person to leave the company to get a break. Then having to work till 67 means that we basically never get to live!

    Posted by : Wendy
  5. I was a foolish young employee with a major airlines…never thought I would ever get old at age 22 when I was hired. Now I am 50 and retiring on a disability injury….recv SS already and only have 4500 in my 401k cuz I never contributed to it. Just lived paycheck to paycheck. Any suggestions now??? Wish I would have done this differently.

    Posted by : Shari
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