Okay, let’s be honest, if you can afford to retire at 65 (or earlier) then why not go for it and enjoy 20, 30 or maybe even more years out of the rat race? Heck, up until 1986 there was mandatory retirement at age 65 (it’s since been abolished), so that people could do just that.
The fact is however that, with lifespans getting longer and longer, the age of retirement is getting older at a pretty rapid pace, in order for people to save up enough money to support themselves when their weekly paychecks stops.
Since 1977 the amount of people 65 years of age or older who were still in the workforce has doubled and continues to climb every year. Not only that but these people aren’t just working part-time but instead of working full-time jobs and 40+ hours per week. It was in 1995 that full-time working seniors became the majority and part-time workers the minority.
It’s projected that, by 2022, 23% of the labor force will be workers aged 65 years of age and older, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What that means is that the average age of a US worker is now five years older then it was in the last decade, and the median age has risen to 42.4 years.
This isn’t so surprising when you consider that, by 2050, 15% of the world population will be senior citizens, or 1.5 billion people. It also helps to understand that, while a person’s physical peak may have passed years ago, their mental ability to work at many different types of jobs is still quite strong. In some cases, there are jobs that actually improve with age. These are things like human resources management, technical writing and any other job where cognitive skills are a plus.
Lastly, when you answer that the fact that studies of shown working past the age of 65, or at least volunteering on a regular basis, is healthy for seniors, it’s no surprise that more and more seniors are deciding to work past what used to be the mandatory retirement age.
So, while being able to retire at 65, financially speaking, might be a good thing, the fact is that very few people can actually afford to do it and, even more, it might not be the best thing that you can do for your health.
Whether you do it because you love it or because you have to, the fact is that working past 65 is becoming more the norm than the exception.