Older Workers Aren’t Ready to Clock Out Yet

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It’s two years since the leaders of LA County announced a plan to make LA the most age-friendly place in the world, and yet only 20% of residents think there is a sufficient range of job opportunities for older adults in the region. The number of elderly inhabitants is growing twice as fast as the total population and a significant number of them would like more help to keep working. In general, Americans are working longer and harder than they ever have in the past 100 years. Additionally, the benefits of staying in employment beyond retirement age are hard to ignore.

The Financial Benefits

The Bureau of Labor projects that of the 164 million people in work in 2024, roughly 13 million will be aged 65 and over. A generation of healthier people with a longer life expectancy are motivated to stay in work to save more for retirement. The Social Security Administration found that, for 62% of elderly clients, benefits made up more than half of their monthly income. As a result, more people are discovering that working into later life offers benefits. Waiting until after full retirement age to enroll for Social Security benefits can increase future payouts and, combined with earning some extra money in the meantime, can create a more financially secure, comfortable retirement.

Work Longer, Live Longer

Over 4% of Americans aged 85 years old and over were working during the last year. It’s the highest number on record and it’s likely to continue to rise as it has been suggested that working even just one more year beyond retirement age is associated with a 9% to 11% lower risk of dying. Working longer can also keep your mind sharp, and there is some evidence to indicate that keeping mentally active can help stave off dementia.

Work for Yourself

However, working beyond full retirement age is not always a fulfilling experience. For workers who are not passionate about their jobs, or for those in physically demanding roles, the idea of working until they drop is not appealing. That’s why many older workers are choosing to become self-employed. Nearly 60% of self-employed workers between the ages of 50 and 65 said being self-employed made them want to keep working longer and delay their retirement plans.

Working longer in later life can be beneficial for your finances, body, and mind. If LA County recognizes that many older people would like to work beyond retirement age and that working contributes to a healthier older generation, perhaps it will make it easier for older people to access training and job opportunities in the area.