For several possible reasons, Americans are working later into their lives than ever before. Forbes offers some information about why this may be the case. Either way, the age of retirement has been steadily increasing as the years progress.
Whether this is a good or bad thing, it’s open for discussion. However, as the inevitability of aging looms over everyone, it’s wise to get a feel for what we may have coming.
Upon first look, it would seem that the increasing age of retirement is a bad thing for older Americans. Forbes tries to spin it to seem that it may not be the case across the board.
There are several “perks” to continuing work. One reason why working later in life is good is to accumulate more in savings. Hopefully when older Americans finally do retire, their retirement funds will be more sufficient. Continued work offers the chance for more savings into a plan like a 401(k).
Health insurance is also an issue. Health insurance with a company is often better than the health insurance that exists for retired Americans. Many companies don’t even really take care of their retired employees at all.
As the Forbes report explains, “Among large firms (200 or more workers) about one in four offered retiree health benefits in 2011, down significantly from 32% in 2007, and a far cry from the whopping 66% who offered retirees health bennies in 1988, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust survey.”
Back in 1988, retirees could almost expect to get healthcare benefits. In today’s world, however, they can pretty much expect that they won’t.
The real question here: are these benefits or traps? As it would appear, these issues of healthcare and bulking up retirement savings are ways to keep Americans working, not because they want to but because they have to. They are bulking up their savings because the money that comes to retired Americans is not near as much as if would be compared to a working salary.
Also, the sad truth is that as we age, our bodies struggle to keep up. Obviously, we need healthcare more as we age. If the healthcare provided by an employer is good (and needed), it may be easier for someone to keep working with a company to ensure the healthcare benefits.
Sure, it can probably be spun a number of different ways, but personally, I don’t think it is a good thing that Americans are forced to work into old age. It’s one thing if they make that decision on their own, but it is completely different if they are doing it because they have no other choice.
Who knows what the situation will evolve into as time progresses, but the future may not be so bright for aging Americans, a.k.a. all of us.