Ben Shapiro Sparks Debate Over Retirement Age in Recent Podcast

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Ben Shapiro, a polarizing conservative political commentator, sparked controversy with his recent comments dismissing the entire concept of retirement at any age as “a stupid idea.” Shapiro made the controversial remarks on an episode of his “Daily Wire” podcast on March 12. Shapiro stated, “Frankly, I think retirement itself is a stupid idea unless you have some sort of health problem.”

Shapiro Doesn’t Support The Idea of Retiring at 65

The 40-year-old conservative political commentator has reportedly amassed a $50 million net worth from his vast media empire.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Shapiro criticized the fact that the retirement age in the U.S. has been set at 65.

Shapiro Believes “It’s totally insane”

Shapiro said, “No one in the United States should be retiring at 65 years old. … It’s totally insane that you believe that you should be able to work from the time that you are essentially 20 to the time that you are 65 — 45 years — pay in, and then you’ll receive Social Security benefits sufficient to support you and your family for, like, another 20 years.”

Source: Pexels

Shapiro added, “That’s crazy talk.”

Backlash On Social Media

Shapiro’s controversial views on the traditional model of retirement has fueled a great deal of backlash across social media.

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People have condemned the wealthy Shapiro for being completely out-of-touch with the realities of working-class Americans.

Shapiro Has Been Called “A Glorified Influencer”

One individual posted a reaction video on YouTube saying, “He’s a glorified influencer who does nothing more than sit behind a desk and talk to cameras to make a living.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The individual added, “He has no right to lecture anyone on work.”

People’s Dream of Retirement

Many commentators highlighted the physical and mental toll many professions take over the course of an individual’s lifetime. A commentator wrote, “Shapiro would never make it doing a physical labor job where your body is broken down after years of hard work.”

Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

The commentator added, “For those of us who actually work for a living, retirement is something we dream of.”

The Vast Majority of Americans Resonate With The Concept of Retirement

The idea of retirement as a deserved break after years of hard work strikes a chord with many Americans who face the challenges of stagnant wages and longer life expectancies.

Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

One person posted, “If you like making money, it makes sense to never retire, but most of us don’t really like what we do to make money and are only working so we no longer have to work. We are just in it for the money so we can retire early.”

Opposition Against Raising the Retirement Age

The sentiment against increasing the retirement age has been evident in a recent national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University. It was found that 78% adults are opposed to the idea of increasing the full Social Security retirement age from 67 to 70.

Source: Sarah Vorobyova

Even when respondents were informed that raising the retirement age would extend the longevity of benefits, opposition against the idea remained strong at 62%.

Life After Retirement

Shapiro made another highly controversial statement that has sparked debate. Shapiro said, “Everyone I know who is elderly who has retired is dead within five years.” The Palm Beach Post criticized Shapiro’s statement in an article written by Frank Cerabino. Cerabino wrote, “Whoa, Ben. You might want to take that back. After all, this is the kind of talk that could land you a lifetime ban from some future pickleball league.”

Source: Pexels/Monica Silvestre

Cerabino added, “My first thought was this: Shapiro – who is 40 years old – needs to come to South Florida, where he would discover that many people routinely live happily for decades after their retirement.”

The Idea of “Being Paid To Do Nothing”

Shapiro made another statement that Cerabino criticized in his article. Shapiro said, “If you are mentally and physically healthy, taxpayers should not pay you to retire at 65.”

Source: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

Shapiro criticized this statement saying, “This misses the point. The idea that you are being paid to do nothing is a perversion of the program. Social Security is not an “entitlement” program in the way that, say, the food stamp program is.”

The Example of Joe Biden

Shapiro gave the example of Joe Biden as an example of a man who hasn’t chosen to retire at the conventional retirement age.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

Shapiro said, “[President] Joe Biden has technically been eligible for Social Security and Medicare for 16 years, and he wants to continue in office until he is 86, which is 19 years past when you would be eligible for retirement.”

Shapiro Believes Retirement Doesn’t Make Sense in The Absence of Health Issues

Shapiro said, “Frankly, I think retirement itself is a stupid idea unless you have some sort of health problem.”

Source: Pexels/Italo Melo

Shapiro believes when people begin to lack purpose, “things go to hell in a handbasket real quick.”

Increase in Life Expectancy of the Average American

Shapiro has made the argument that increasing the retirement age is important because the life expectancy of the average American has increased in the previous decades.

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The current retirement age was set at 65 by President Roosevelt in 1935 under the Social Security Act. At the time, the life expectancy of the Average American was 60.7 years.

Current Life Expectancy

In today’s times, the life expectancy of the Average American is around 80 years – the national average is around 76.4 years.

Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Social Security retirement benefits begin at age 62 but one becomes eligible for all the benefits only after reaching “full retirement age” set by the Social Security Administration.

The Idea Is Popular Among Republicans

Referring to Shapiro’s controversial comments, the USA today reported that the idea of raising the retirement age is popular among Republicans.

Source: Pexels/Tara Winstead

The USA Today article said, “Whether it’s a conservative pundit saying retirement “is a stupid idea” or GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump talking about cutting Medicare and Social Security, one thing is clear: Republicans rightly recognize that all us Americans would be better off if we worked until we’re dead.”

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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