For almost a century, 65 has been seen as the age at which people retire in America. This is largely due to the original Social Security Act of 1935, which set the minimum age for full retirement benefits at 65, and since then, 65 has seemed like the magic number for retirement.
Does that age still make sense, though? In 1935, the average life expectancy for an American male was 59.9 years; women, 63.9 years. Today, the average American’s life expectancy is 78.7 years. Yes, today, the average American lives 15 to 20 years longer than when the retirement age was originally set in 1935.