The new golden years? Work, work, and more work
During the economic crisis, some Americans worried that they'd never be able to retire. Now there's evidence that may be playing out, given that older workers are hitting 65 and increasingly staying in the labor market.Read the whole thing for embedded links, videos and more.
A record number of Americans over the age of 65 are working, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A decade ago, about 5 million senior citizens continued to work, a number that had swelled to more than 9 million last month. In 1994, slightly more than 1 out of 10 senior citizens was still working. Now, about one out of five Americans over the age of 65 remains employed.
While some seniors are likely putting off retirement because they want to continue working, it's likely that the shift reflects the economic instability that Americans of all ages are experiencing. More than half of people over 50 years old say they plan to or already have worked past their 65th birthday, with the majority of those saying it's linked to financial reasons, according to survey published this month from The Associated Press‑NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The ranks of elderly workers are likely to only keep growing, given that about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years old each day, a trend that's projected to continue through 2029.
Yet many of those boomers are woefully unprepared for retirement, at least when it comes to their financial health. In an annual survey conducted by investment firm BlackRock, baby boomers said they wanted to have about $45,500 in annual retirement income, although the average boomer had only saved up enough to produce slightly more than $9,000 in annual income.
Of course, Generation X and the millennial generation aren't likely to be in any better shape. The typical Gen Xer has far fewer retirement assets as someone of the same age had 25 years earlier, according to a J.P. Morgan study. Millennials, many of whom are just starting their careers, are hobbled by increasingly high student debt loads as well as an uneven job market.
The share of seniors in the workforce will most certainly continue to rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that almost 22 percent of the 65-and-older set will be working in 2024. [...]
The answer for some may be to leave the country, for somewhere they can afford to retire to. It's a more attractive option to ending up like this.