AARP: Longer Lives, Longer Career

Longer Lives, Longer Career

The good news is the average American is living a lot longer than they used to and most of those extra years are spent in good health. In 1912 the Sherwood Act introduced a pension for veterans. In the more than 100 years since, life expectancy at birth has risen by 24 years (Our World in Data, n.d.). Someone today aged 65 can expect an additional 10 more years of life compared to someone aged 65 in 1912.

This is a fantastic achievement – worthy of celebration. It does, however, have profound implications for the world of work. The math is simple – if you aren’t prepared to save more, you will need to work for longer. Based on current estimates of interest rates, every 10 more years of life implies seven more years of working (Poterba, 2014). The shift is already happening. Over the last 20 years U.S employment has risen by 22 million and 19 million of those jobs are accounted for by an increase in working amongst those aged over 50 (Scott, 2019). The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2028, one in three people aged 65 to 74 and one in eight aged over 75 will still be working (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).

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