When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, the retirement age was set at 65, however Americans lived only to 61 years of age on average.
The government wasn’t too concerned about payouts to retirees as most of them passed away before they could collect, but now the average life expectancy has increased to an average of 78.6 years in the U.S, writes for Robert Mauterstock for forbes.com.
The problem created by the 65 year retirement age is only going to get worse, most agree that life expectancies will continue to dramatically increase. Advances is medicine and technology could allow retirements to last over 30 years and the number will only continue to grow.
Many people are choosing to continue working past retirement age. “The number of employed Americans over 65 has increased by 35% in the last 5 years. This group of workers is projected to be the fastest growing segment of the workforce by 2024. Management, sales and office support are the top three occupations for those over 65 based on a study by Seniorliving.org.”
One of the main reasons keeping people at work over the age of 65 should be an obvious one to many, pure financial necessity. “Workers can delay filing for Social Security, save more for retirement and spend fewer years depleting those savings to fund living expenses. Seventy percent of experienced workers say they plan to work in retirement, whether full or part time, according to a 2014 AARP study; 35 percent of those ages 65 to 74 cite that extra income is the biggest reason why.”
Money however is not the only thing keeping seniors at work. A large portion of the senior workforce do it for the love of working. Nearly one fifth of workers described job enjoyment as the main reason for working past retirement age.
CEO and president of Encore.com, Marc Freedman, holds the belief that the older adults of our population are one of societies most undervalued resources. Freedman believes society should be thinking about new roles for our seniors. He believes they should be doing what they do best, passing on wisdom and life experience though mentoring the younger generation.
“Our traditional view of retirement must change if we recognize that many people may live 30 or more years beyond their original careers. To appreciate the “golden years” older adults must find new purpose in their lives that goes beyond the understanding that retirement is a period solely of rest and recreation.,” concludes Mauterstock.
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