Work­ing past 65 the goal of many

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - BEN STEVERMAN

More and more Amer­i­cans are spend­ing their golden years on the job.

Al­most 19 per­cent of peo­ple 65 or older were work­ing at least part time in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017, ac­cord­ing to the U. S. jobs re­port re­leased on Fri­day. The age group’s em­ploy­ment/pop­u­la­tion ra­tio hasn’t been higher in 55 years, be­fore Amer­i­can re­tirees won bet­ter health care and So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits start­ing in the late 1960s.

And the trend looks likely to con­tinue.

Cer­tainly baby boomers are in­creas­ingly ig­nor­ing the tra­di­tional re­tire­ment age of 65. Last quar­ter, 32 per­cent of Amer­i­cans 65 to 69 were em­ployed. Even past age 70, a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple are de­clin­ing to, or un­able to, re­tire. Last quar­ter, 19 per­cent of 70- to 74-year-olds were work­ing, up from 11 per­cent in 1994.

Older Amer­i­cans are work­ing more even as those un­der 65 are work­ing less, a trend that the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics ex­pects to con­tinue. By 2024, 36 per­cent of 65- to 69-year-olds will be ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in the la­bor mar­ket, the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics said. That’s up from just 22 per­cent in 1994.

A num­ber of fac­tors are keep­ing older Amer­i­cans in the work­force. Many are health­ier and liv­ing longer than pre­vi­ous generations. Some de­cide not to fully re­tire be­cause they en­joy their jobs or just want to stay ac­tive and alert.

Others need the money. The longer you work, the eas­ier it is to af­ford a com­fort­able re­tire­ment. Longer lives and ris­ing health care costs have made re­tire­ment more ex­pen­sive at the same time that stag­nant wages and the de­cline of the tra­di­tional pen­sion have made it harder to save enough.

The U. S. isn’t the only place peo­ple are plan­ning to work longer. Around the globe, work­ers of all ages are mov­ing their re­tire­ment goals later and later in life. Broyles Mort­gage Bro­kers

Even af­ter they con­sider them­selves of­fi­cially “re­tired,” most Amer­i­cans are hop­ing to work a lit­tle bit. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by the Em­ployee Ben­e­fit Re­search In­sti­tute, 79 per­cent of U.S. work­ers ex­pect to sup­ple­ment their re­tire­ment in­come by work­ing.

There’s a big prob­lem with these plans. Just be­cause a per­son wants to work doesn’t mean he can.

When sur­veyed, 61 per­cent of Amer­i­can re­tirees say they re­tired sooner than they’d planned. That’s more than any­where else in the world, ac­cord­ing to the 2017 Ae­gon Re­tire­ment Readi­ness Sur­vey of 16,000 peo­ple in 15 coun­tries. Glob­ally, 39 per­cent of re­tirees say they quit work­ing early.

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