Musk Advocates Late Retirement: Praises France's Bold Move

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In response to a tweet showing demonstrations in France against President Macron’s government pension reforms (without a vote in the National Assembly), Musk stated, “Macron is doing the difficult, but right thing. The retirement age of 62 was set when life spans were much shorter. It is impossible for a small number of workers to support a massive number of retirees.”

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Only a few months later, Musk reiterated his stance on retirement, stating, “Retirement age in France is too low. That’s a legit issue.” This time, it was in response to a video supposedly showing the streets of Paris on fire with the caption, “Paris tonight. Soon everywhere.” A well-known user on X platform, Catturd, commented, “Looks like people have had enough of dictators pretending to be democratic leaders.”

So it appears that Musk holds a different view on the issue compared to many of his devoted followers. Some criticize this perspective as being out of touch with the challenges faced by workers and argue that such reforms may disproportionately affect those in physically demanding jobs, who might not have the option or ability to work longer. 

On the other hand, proponents of his view argue that increasing the retirement age could ease financial pressures on pension systems and ensure that resources are available for future generations. 

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Retirement Age in U.S. Versus France

The full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security benefits has been gradually increasing. For those born in 1955, the FRA is set at 66 years and two months; for those born in 1960 or later, the FRA is 67. Early retirement can be taken at 62, resulting in reduced benefits. This shift aims to account for the increased life expectancy and the financial strain on the Social Security system caused by a growing retiree population.

The U.S. approach to retirement is also influenced by the availability of various retirement savings plans, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, providing people with additional means to support themselves financially beyond Social Security benefits.

In France, the retirement age has been a contentious issue. The French pension system is primarily funded through worker contributions, making the ratio of workers to retirees a critical factor in sustainability. Historically, the official retirement age was 60, but it increased to 62 in 2010. President Emmanuel Macron’s recent reforms raised it to 64, sparking widespread protests

France isn’t the only European country to take such measures. In Italy and Germany, the official retirement age was raised to 67. In the UK too, it is likely to be increased to 67 between 2026 and 2028. In Spain, it will be 67 by 2027. 

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