Remember when a person’s 65th birthday used to be a milestone. Well, it still is of course, but that used to be the age at which your working days were over and your retirement began. You said goodbye to your boss and co-workers and did not look back.
As they say, “That was then, this is now” and according to a recent article by CNBC’s “On the Money”, approximately 19 percent of people age 65 and over are still working either full or part-time. This is the highest rate since 1962 a span of over 55 years. Retirement is simply not an option anymore for millions of Americans. After the end of the Great Recession, more seniors were forced to stay in the workforce for longer, in order to make ends meet.
Since year 2000 the number of Americans age 65 and over who were working either full or part-time has grown from 13 percent to its current rate of 19 according to data from Pew Research. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that number will grow to 32 percent by 2021.
With fewer pensions and not enough retirement savings, even that number is expected to increase in future years beyond 2021.
AARP’s senior vice president of programs Jean Setzfand explains for decades, companies have been “moving away from pensions to 401(k) defined-contribution plans.” “What happens is you have a lower base of guaranteed income. Everyone is really reliant on Social Security as that floor. They no longer have that traditional pension that lasts them through their lifetime.”
Setzfand further stresses that according to AARP research, about 55 million private-sector employees don’t even have access to workplace retirement savings plans.
The organization also found that without a retirement plan at work, only 5 percent of people open their own individual retirement account (IRA) and that according to Setzfand makes saving for retirement “15 times harder for them.”
But to put this more into perspective, seniors are now more likely to be working than teenagers. Today, there are more workers in the 55 and over group than there are in the 16 to 24 age group. That gap is only expected to widen.
The silver lining Setzfand points out is work is “a social outlet, they feel productive. So there’s a good reason for people to actually want to stay in the workplace longer,” she said. “Because we’re actually living longer and what greater way to stay engaged but at the workplace.”
Are you closing in on retirement, but find yourself overwhelmed by debt and are having difficulty paying your credit cards, medical bills or personal loans, not to mention your mortgage and vehicle loans, please call one of our conveniently located offices at Bond & Botes to set up a private consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
We will analyze your situation and help you make the best decision possible to help you navigate your financial problems.
Grant McNutt is a Managing Attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Florence and Haleyville, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. He has been practicing Consumer Bankruptcy Law since 1999. Read his full bio here.