Will you ever get to retire?
Participation in the labor force by older workers has been increasing steadily since the 1990s, partly because of financial necessity.
This post comes from Anne Tergesen at partner site SmartMoney.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.5% of Americans 65 and older were employed in July, up from 15.5% in 2007. More specifically:
- Among those ages 65 to 69, 29% are employed now, vs. 28.7% in 2007.
- Among those ages 70 to 74, 17.5% are employed now, versus 16.6% in 2007.
- Among those ages 75-plus, 7.2% are currently employed, compared with 6.6% in 2007.
Moreover, the percentage of unemployed people age 65 and older has jumped sharply --from 3.3% in 2007 to 6.7% in July, according to BLS data.
Older workers last month had an average duration of unemployment of 52.7 weeks, compared with 20.2 weeks in December 2007, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute, which looked at job seekers 55 and over.
"There is no question but that the impact of this recession on the unemployment rate of older workers has been far more dramatic than in previous recessions," says Sara Rix, a policy analyst at AARP. "We have sustained rates of unemployment for the older workforce that are far higher than at any time in the past 60 years."
Rix adds, "In contrast to previous recessions, more older workers are staying in the labor force longer as unemployed because they really do want and need a job." (Are you saving enough for retirement? Try MSN Money's calculator.)
What people may not realize is that participation in the labor force by older workers has been increasing steadily since the 1990s. Among the causes of the long-term trend are:
- A shift toward less physically demanding jobs.
- Steady gains in life expectancy.
- Reductions in defined benefit pension plans.
- Cuts in Social Security, including the increase in the full retirement age that's being phased in through 2022.
Yet another factor is the rising skill level of those at retirement age. In contrast with past retirees, economists say, today's have the same level of education as entry-level workers -- with lots more experience. As a result, in comparison with previous generations, they are more attractive to employers.
With Congress contemplating further reductions in Social Security, as well as cuts to Medicare benefits, the trend toward working later in life is here to stay.
As a recent Wall Street Journal article reported:
More than three in five U.S. workers in their 50s and 60s plan on working past 65 -- and 47% of that group say they'll do so because they'll need the money or health benefits, according to a 2011 study from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
More on SmartMoney and MSN Money:
Maybe we should retire Congress .. they aren't doing anything but squabbling, anyway.
How many times do we read that the Baby Boomers are going to retire and SS monies will shrink? Will we ever read an article that Baby Boomers are working longer thus adding more money into the SS piggybank?
Just tired of hearing how the Baby Boomers are going to bankrupt the SS piggybank... now what does the government have to say that we are all working a lot longer contributing a lot more $$, some dying before they collect their big SS check... and we keep going like the every ready battery.
Working 35 years, and I am 52 years old... when all is said and done, I will put close to 50 years in!! Hey, what year did they up the SS age change and go up... early 80s? I would like my 100% SS grandfathered!
With Congress contemplating further reductions in Social Security, as well as cuts to Medicare benefits, the trend toward working later in life is here to stay
When... I ask when... NO, I DEMAND TO KNOW WHEN... will Congress start looking at their own "sacrifices" before they start looking to cut more from their consituencies??? When will Congress eliminate the "gauranteed for life retirement and health plans" that so do not deserve because THEY are elected officials... public servents of the general population... that they continue to screw by favoring to serve their corporate and special interest masters over taking care of the American Common Good!
Politicians are not a SPECIAL CLASS of people! They should be subject to the same economical, socialogical, and psychological stresses they contunue to exert on the rest of us!
I don't need all these new gadgets. I don't need fancy new clothes. I've got two decent vehicles (long paid for) that I'm going to make last as long as possible. Most if not all the groceries I buy are on sale. I don't even go out and eat. I don't have cable TV or a dish, what a rip off that is. I don't even watch TV. Maybe that's the problem, you see all these advertizements and you spend, spend, SPEND!
Everything I have is paid for, I owe nobody NOTHING! The only bills I have are the monthly utilities, light bill and phone bill. And you know what? I've got a pretty good chunk of money in the bank because I've saved, saved, SAVED.
In five years I'm retiring come Hell or high water, I've had enough of this so called great American work force. I might work part time, just to give me something to do. But I'm getting out. I haven't dug a financial hole for myself I can't get out of.
As a result, in comparison with previous generations, they are more attractive to employers.
Wondering why I am still unemployed if I am supposed to be more attractive to employers?
It's a real bind. We can't retire until the kids find jobs with a livable wage, but us staying in the workforce is preventing job openings in our fields. Our retiring may help someone else get a job, but then we still have to somehow support our kids at a much reduced income.
The biggest looming problem from my perspective is student loan debt. Even when they do find jobs, the wages have dropped and new college hires can't make enough money to pay off their loans and still afford to have a place to live and meet their basic needs, not even considering any luxuries. The middle and working class desperately needs some kind of student loan bailouts or forgiveness in exchange for community service or whatever or grown children will be living at home forever and older people will never be able to leave the work force.
A new hire unburdened with student loan payments is someone who will buy a house and other goods which would do a lot to boost the economy and housing market and sales of goods in general.
I've always maintained that retirement is for the wealthy.
Somewhere in the mid 80s retirement was sold to the public-yet, reality is another thing altogether. Pensions for one are being cut/frozen; Some eliminated. 401ks and stock option accounts are taking a major hit again.
Social Security and Medicare are in the gun sights of loony tune Tea Baggers.
Retirement does not look promising in the near future.
My 401Ks have been rendered worthless. I am 61 years old and I can not wait for the market to "correct itself. " I will have to work until I can not or I am run off. I will not go gently into that night.
I do agree with you on this, there are some people who can't make it work due to no fault of their own. And I feel for them deeply. But you also have to agree that a lot of people today who have created their own financial problems, then they whine and cry about it. I have no feelings for them what-so-ever.
They have to in order to pay for the now MANDATORY insurance, that cost's well more than half of our retirement, it's a racket! Of course this is NOT going to open up job's for younger incoming worker's, but hey NO worry's, here in the U.S. the power's be will CREATE plenty of job's for everybody, so we can all work all of our live's,chasing the ever moving carrot,that is the great American dream! Right, you betcha, and there will alway's be clean air, and clean water, and plenty of gasoline to drive back and forth to work till you drop dead or Jesus come's back to save us from ourselve's....Hey don't worry bout it, just get to work, and don' t ask where your tax dollar's are being spent!
Retire what is that? Last time I looked at my SS money I would get from the government, its a joke. I could not live on that. And employers these days want part time people that they do not have to give, medical benefits to,
and contractual people they do not have to give anything to. And the people I know who have retired have returned to work, They could not live on SS nor there pentions.
Me figure being unemployed, and with NO jobs NO industry in my town, I will be on welfare,
and old enough to collect SS. By the time I find a job.
Employers these days do not want to give anything to an employee, So senior citizens they LOVE
Will we ever get to retire?
........Not if Oduffus gets a 2nd term......................oh, but the good news would be that many illegal aliens innocent children will get a free college education off the sweat of American taxpayers, yippe!
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