According to new data from the US Census Bureau, more and more Americans are working past the age of 65. This data follows a trend that started in the past few years–roughly 16.2 percent of those 65 and older were in the labor force in 2011 compared to only 12 percent in 1990.
So why are people continuing to work past the accepted age of retirement? The accepted wisdom has been that seniors are holding off from retirement due to the Great Recession and resulting falling home values, savings, and incomes.
However, a new analysis, conducted by Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution, points to a different explanation. Bosworth, a respected economist, believes older Americans are continuing to work by choice—not necessity. Through a comprehensive analysis of senior income since 1990, Bosworth observed that over the past 20 years or so the fraction of seniors’ income from private pension funds, government support, and social security payments has remained roughly the same. The same holds true for percentage of income from labor and investment funds.
Another strong piece of evidence for the “enjoying work” hypothesis: the top 20%, who have seen their earned income jump more than anyone else, are much more likely to work past the age of 65 than those in a lower income bracket.
At Home Care Assistance San Francisco, we adopt a holistic approach to care. Our San Francisco caregivers follow our proprietary Balanced Care Method, an approach based on scientific studies of lifestyle factors linked to longevity. One of the tenets of the method is maintaining a sense of purpose—for some people this may mean continuing to work as long as possible.
San Francisco home care clients and seniors, what do you think the reason is that people are working longer?