Workers Over 65 at Record High
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1977 and 2007, employment of workers 65 and over increased by a stunning 101 percent. Not only that, but the number of older women who are working skyrocketed by 147 percent compared to 75 percent for senior men. Also, although the number of people working at age 75 and over is fairly small – 0.8 percent all employed people in 2007 – that figure represents a dramatic rise of 172 percent since 1977.
In an article about these statistics in the New York Times, Floyd Norris quotes David A. Rosenberg, the chief economist of Gluskin Sheff, a Canadian firm, as saying, “The fact of the matter is that this aging-but-not-yet-aged segment of the baby boomer class can’t afford to retire.” Rosenberg also noted that overall household net worth was 15 percent lower than at the prerecession peak. “Dreams of the 5,000-square-foot McMansion being a viable retirement asset have morphed into nightmares of a deflationary ball and chain,” he added.
Here at ThirdAge, though, we'd like to counter that glum view at least to some extent. Yes, many Boomers are delaying retirement because they can't afford to stop working. However, the Gallup-Healthways Emotional Health Index showed that older Americans who are still employed have higher scores for overall well-being than those who are out of the work force. Staying in the game appears to improve your mental health so maybe you should think twice before retiring even if you're financially well set.