Age-related declines in central processing may affect corticospinal (CS) excitability that underlies the emergence of voluntary responses to external stimuli. We used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex to explore the evolution of CS excitability in 14 young and ten elderly healthy right-handed participants. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were elicited in the right or left first dorsal interosseus (FDI) during the preparatory and premotor periods of a choice reaction time (CRT) task, which required selection of left or right index finger responses. Both age groups showed significant suppression of CS excitability in the preparatory period. However, suppression was generally less pronounced in older than in young adults. Moreover, our data indicated that a reduced suppression in the right FDI during the preparatory period was associated with longer reaction times (RTs) in older adults only. In the premotor period, both age groups demonstrated comparable facilitation levels towards movement onset. Our findings indicate that increased RTs among older individuals could be directly associated with declines in preparatory processes.