German flag. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Around the world, retirement ages have been going up gradually. But Germany just shocked the rest of Europe by freeing up early retirement benefits for certain workers.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about the shocking move that Germany recently made. Dan notes that historically, Germany has pushed for raising the retirement age, implementing an increase from 65 to 67 gradually over the next 15 years or so and with discussions of raising the retirement age further to 69. Germany also put pressure on other European countries to raise their retirement ages. Now, though, Germany is allowing workers with 45 years of work history the ability to retire two years early than full retirement age with a full pension, meaning that some could end up getting full benefits as early as age 63. Dan concludes that with accusations of hypocrisy from the rest of Europe, Germany's early retirement victory might prove short-lived.