Friday
May 26, 2017

Maybe Rethink That Retirement Age

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Maybe Rethink That Retirement Age

Workers over the age of 65 are staying active in the workforce, opting to push back retirement.

In the year 2000, about 13 percent of Americans 65 and over reported being employed full or part time. But, by May 2016, that percentage had increased to 18.8 percent. As such, nearly 9 million Americans who are age 65 and over are employed. Further, over the next five years, that percentage is expected to rise to 32 percent of the workforce.

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“The context of aging and work is changing,” Jacquelyn B. James, co-director of the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, told The New York Times. Greater longevity and health aside, “this is one of the most educated generations in history. A lot of the jobs people are continuing in are fields in which you use the mind, not the body.”

A 2015 study by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 44 percent of workers who retired later than planned said they continued to work because they chose to.

“My basic sense is that there are two types of workers in their late 50s,” says Michael D. Hurd, an economist and director of the RAND Corporation Center for the Study of Aging in Santa Monica, Calif. “People who have health problems or are economically distressed, and who might want to work longer but probably won’t be able to, will leave the labor force at 62 when eligible for Social Security. More healthy ones will want to work longer for the financial reward. The other is a group who are healthy, fit, able to work and find their work satisfying. They will continue to work into their 60s or even beyond.”

That said, workers still need to be practical and anticipate retiring one day, and plan for it. “It’s not a good strategy to think you’re never going to retire,” James says.

Source: “Workers Are Working Longer—and Better,” The New York Times (March 2, 2017)