Ben Shapiro Under Fire For Comments On Retirement

Following a brief segment of a recent podcast, conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro is receiving backlash for expressing blunt disagreement with the concept of retirement and support for raising the retirement age in the United States.

During part of the March 12 installment of the Daily Wire’s “Ben Shapiro Show,” the popular host said that the American retirement age, 65, not being raised at this point in time is “insane” and “totally crazy.” To emphasize his point, he added that, with the age as it is, President Joe Biden should not be seeking reelection.

He emphasized that the 81-year-old commander in chief has “been eligible” to receive these benefits for the past 16 years. Should he win his current presidential bid, he will be in office until age 86, which would be “19 years past when he would be eligible for ‘retirement.’”

Once Americans reach the age of 65, they are eligible to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Shapiro argued against this for several reasons, including that it is not a “fiscally sustainable” set up because of the large number of aging Americans. He further stated that “no one in the United States should be retiring at 65 years old.”

But Shapiro did not stop at his endorsement of raising the retirement age for Americans. His words garnered even more backlash when he shared his “frank” belief that “retirement itself is a stupid idea,” unless one has “some sort of health problem.” He also shared his own experience that retired people he knows pass away “within five years” and that, for many people, stopping their work can lead to them losing “their purpose in life.”

The conservative commentator added that life expectancy has increased to roughly 80 years old compared to the life expectancy of 63 in 1935, when the nation first instituted Social Security. After his comments received backlash from prominent and everyday American citizens, he returned to his show on March 13 to discuss the matter once again.

During his next podcast episode, Shapiro revisited his “two arguments” from the viral clip, one of which advocates for raising the retirement age and another that recommends against people retiring “early.”

He then dove deeper into his arguments by explaining that Democrats and Republicans alike are under the impression that “we can’t touch Social Security,” leading to potential bankruptcy as these benefits are paid out. Shapiro also expanded upon what he meant when he said that retirement can be “stupid.”

He explained that he does “not think that, as a general rule, it is good for people to consider themselves retired from the world.” He added that this mindset can negatively impact mental health and “robs people of purpose.”