Many workers over the age of 60, who are nearing traditional retirement age, are living and working a little differently than people in this age bracket did years ago. A great many of them aren’t even thinking about retirement, or worry they might never be able to stop working. On the other hand, some workers over 60 are making more money than workers in their prime.
Working over the age of 60 isn’t what it used to be. Here are a few things you should know:
1. The younger generations aren’t totally financially independent just yet.
A lot of workers over the age of 60 are still working, in part, in order to financially support members of the younger generations. As a general rule, recent college graduates aren’t as independent as they used to be. Given the rising costs of college, and many other challenging economic factors, a lot of people are living at home with their parents well into their 30s and beyond. This, of course, creates an additional financial burden for older workers. In fact, whether they live at home or not, these days nearly 60 percent of parents provide some financial support to their grown children. This is shifting some older workers’ retirement plans.
“Parents are continuing their involvement longer than we expected,” Ted Beck, chief executive of the National Endowment for Financial Education, told Forbes. “Financial pressures are higher for this generation. If I was in their shoes, I would be concerned.”
Another reason some folks are still going strong with no signs of slowing down after 60 is that they’re still earning good money. They’re even making more per hour, on average, than workers in their prime. In part, this is because today’s older workers tend to be more educated and healthier than they were in the past. Also, younger workers aren’t doing as well financially as they used to, and that also helps to account for the contrast.
3. Older women are less financially secure than older men.
The gender pay gap isn’t just a concern for younger workers. It impacts workers of all ages. Women over the age of 65 are now twice as likely to live in poverty as men. This is due to less access to retirement savings plans, lower social security benefits, and a lifetime of earning less than men. According to an analysis of census data presented by CNN Money, women over the age of 65 have an average income of around $16,000 a year, compared to men’s average income of around $27,000 a year.
4. Many aim to help pay for their grandchildren’s education.
Many of the older workers who have children still living at home have their grandchildren close by too, and they’re starting to think about helping them pay for college. Millennial workers are still trying to pay back their own loans while also attempting to save for their children’s education. It isn’t an easy task, so many of their parents are stepping in to help out. According to a recent survey, 19 percent of grandparents contributed to their grandchildren’s college saving last year, even though 57 percent of millennials said they don’t expect their parents’ help.
5. There are more older people in the workforce than there used to be.
There are a lot more people working beyond the traditional retirement age than there used to be. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the total number of employed workers ages 65 and older increased 101 percent between 1977 and 2007. The BLS anticipates that this figure will spike again, when 2016 data analysis is complete. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of workers between the ages of 65 and 74 is expected to rise by 83.4 percent. Although the number of workers over the age of 75 is still fairly small, just .08 percent in 2007, this group had a marked gain, increasing by 172 percent from 1977.
“My job gives me extra money for the little things, like going out with my grandkids or paying someone to do work around the house,” Angela Versch, who says she wants to keep her job until she turns 80, told CNBC. “More older people can put a lot more into working. I’ve been working since I was 17.”