For a rising number of older adults, hitting a time clock is still a part of a regular routine. People remain employed or return to work although they are beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.
Why Are We Working Longer?
Those in professional positions who work well into their late sixties tend to be in higher-income positions with better job security. Professors can hold academic tenure, and lawyers have a practice of their own. It’s far tougher for those who need money the most to find and hold a job.
There are many reasons why people are working longer, and some have to do with health. For example:
- Life expectancy has improved. In 1970, life expectancy for people who reached age 65 was 78 for men and 82 for women. Today men and women who’ve reached 65 will on average live to ages 84 and 86, respectively.
- Jobs require less physical work.
- People in their 60s are in better health today than they were 50 years ago.
Is it Good For Seniors Health?
There’s increasing evidence that the payoff of working past age 65 may go beyond income. Some studies have linked working past retirement with better health and longevity.
Working even one more year beyond retirement age was associated with a 9% to 11% lower risk of dying during the 18-year study period, regardless of health.
People who worked past age 65 were about three times more likely to report being in good health and about half as likely to have serious health problems, such as cancer or heart disease.
Other studies have linked working past retirement age with a reduced risk of dementia and heart attack.
The Negative Side
Working past retirement age might not be beneficial to health for everyone, however. For example:
- Suffering stress on the job has long been recognized as a risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke.
- If your job is physically demanding, you may have an increased risk of injury.
- If you feel your job lacks meaning, if you’re bored, or if you feel “burned out,” that may add to stress or affect your mood.
The Necessity to Work
Employment is a financial necessity for lower-income older Americans. However, age discrimination and the physical demands of blue-collar work can force seniors to retire early.
Some seniors have been job hunting for years because they used all their finances on medical bills. They don’t have a choice, but to keep working because they need the income. Older workers find it more difficult to find a job despite their reliability, experience. And work ethic.
We still live in a society that has a lot of ageism. People judge somebody maybe by their wrinkles and the gray in their hair, and not necessarily by what they can contribute to the workplace.
Last year, there was a 22% increase in the number of homeless seniors registered in Los Angeles. Trejo argues that one way to reverse this phenomenon could be to encourage more employers to hire seniors.
For many Californians close to retirement, the Great Recession only made things worse. During the financial crisis, the racial wealth gap widened to the point where U.S. black and Mexican households in Los Angeles had only 1% of white households ‘ wealth.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.