nursing homes

Senior Citizens Likely to Work Post-Retirement

Americans are working into their senior years more than ever in the 21st century. About half of workers plan to keep at least a part-time job after they retire, and nearly a third say they will be retiring after the age of 70 or will never retire.

“I don’t know how many people, unless they are extremely affluent, can afford to retire at 55, or even 65,” says Eileen Felske, 57, who cares for her elderly father. “Given the economy today, unless you were in a profession making a quarter of a million dollars a year, not too many can say ‘I’m confident enough to stop working.’ It’s not an age issue; it’s just what we are living through.”

Older Americans are needing to work later in their lives to support themselves. Since there’s been no cost of living increase in Social Security, the state of the economy has made what used to be enough to retire on no longer sufficient. People are also living longer in modern times, and with longer lives come more years of expenses–specifically more medical costs. However, aside from financial need, some middle-aged and senior citizens continue working for personal reasons.

Germaine Alhes, 76, has worked in the same hospital since she was 18 years old, and says she no longer has a monetary reason to continue employment.

“I enjoy the work,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine people who go to work and don’t like what they’re doing. The people (at the hospital) are like my second family […] I enjoy the patient care and am thankful I can still do it. When you think about retiring, you get kind of teary eyed. […] It’s been your whole life.”



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Lucy is a recent graduate of Western Washington University, majoring in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Lucy tagged this post with: , Read 7 articles by
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