Get Free Help Preparing Your Taxes From AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location

Contests and

AARP’s Superstar
2015 Contest

Sing for a chance to win $5,000! Enter AARP’s Superstar 2015 Contest!
See official rules.


most popular


Turning 65, Then and Now

One thing is certain: It's a whole different world.

Boomers@65If you're part of the first crop of baby boomers turning 65 this year, you probably remember a time when you could smoke a cigarette anywhere you wanted, your health insurance plan covered any doctor you decided to see and the thought of wireless Internet access was a subject for science fiction.

Times have changed. Now that you're touching down in a brave new world, you're facing health and lifestyle challenges, a revolution in technology and the prospect of economic uncertainty as you head into your golden years.

Here's a look back at the way things were in 1980, when the parents of today's boomers began to retire, and today's new reality:

Then: You could retire at 65 with full Social Security benefits.
Now: The golden age is 66.

Then: There were 19.5 million retirees receiving an average of $905 a month, adjusted for inflation, from the Social Security Administration.
Now: 34.6 million retirees receive an average of $1,175 a month.

Then: You received an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) in your Social Security benefits and you could depend on that every year:
Now: There's a COLA freeze.

Then: Medicare didn't pay for prescription drugs.
Now: They're now covered under Part D with an extra fee.

Then: Medicare Part B premium was $23 a month, adjusted for inflation.
It was $96.40 in 2010.

Then: You could earn money in saving accounts because of double-digit interest rates.
Now: Rates are about as low as 1 percent.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

membership ancestry

Members save 30% on  a one-year subscription to

Grocery Coupon Center

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Member Benefits Discounts Angie's List

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.