Putman knew a fair amount about Social Security. “It’s part of the intergenerational compact people of our generation made by willingly contributing to support our parents and grandparents,” she said. “I hope the younger people will help me in turn.” As for raising the retirement age to seventy, she said she had heard some talk about that. “I don’t think it’s a good thing, but it might be a necessary thing.” If it turns out that the retirement age for full benefits is raised, those like Putman who take their benefits early will find that a benefit taken early will be reduced even more than it is today—a point I will discuss in another post later this week.

Click here for more from Trudy Lieberman on Social Security and entitlement reform.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.