Thursday, September 10, 2009

AARP Bulletin is online in PDF format; note the article on the "failure" of "early retirement"

The AARP now makes its Monthly Bulletin available online in PDF format, with the September 2009 issue here.

On p 18 there appears a major article on the “failure” of the early retirement habits of the past, “No Rest for the Weary”, by Carole Fleck. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers 65 to 69 rose 25% between 2000 and 2008; for 70-74 it rose 32%, 75-79 it rose 38%, for over 80 it rose 67%. The article depicts one woman who worked for the Department of Homeland Security until 92. Barbara Walters once presented a financial planner who was still working at 94. Walters will be 80 herself on Sept. 25.

The reasons for the change are demographic: longer life spans, and debt. The social security, Medicare and pension systems did not envision the quick runup in life spans (due in large part to medical technology but also due to better habits, such as cessation of cigarette smoking) when they were designed, and even fifteen years ago employers often “bought out” people at age 50 to avoid the permanent high salaries.

The main Bureau of Labor Statistics reference with tables is here.

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