Millions of Americans retire sooner than they planned. While the reasons range from health issues to unexpected family circumstances, age is undoubtedly a pivotal factor.
Older workers are often seen as less desirable than young professionals, who bring youthful exuberance and lower labor costs. The Washington Post’s Michelle Singletary has more:
“When surveyed, 61 percent of Americans say they retired sooner than they’d planned,” according to a report by Ben Steverman in Bloomberg News. “That’s more than anywhere else in the world, according to the 2017 Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey, of 16,000 people in 15 countries. Globally, 39 percent of retirees say they quit working early. Even part-time work may be unrealistic. EBRI finds that just 29 percent of retirees say they worked for pay at some point in their retirement.
“The irony is, those seniors who find it easiest to keep working—healthy, well-educated and highly skilled people who enjoy their jobs—tend to be the least likely to need the money,” according to Steverman. “Other older Americans, faced with few good job choices, often just decide to retire and live frugally off Social Security and savings.”
Personally, I’m hearing from a lot of people who had intended to work past 65 to give them more time to save, but they complain they’re being pushed out of their jobs because of age. They are hitting the “gray ceiling.”
“Even though employers aren’t supposed to discriminate based on how old you are, getting hired can be a challenge when you’re considered an ‘older worker,’” wrote Alison Doyle for the Balance. “In addition to being considered ‘old,’ experienced candidates are sometimes considered to be more of an expense (higher salary, pension, benefits costs, etc.) than a younger applicant would be.”