Older workers delay retirement by necessity and choice

interns Contributor
Font Size:

NEW YORK ( — Gone are the days of golf and gardening into the golden years. Many older workers are working well into retirement and it’s not just because they have to, it’s because they want to.

Bob Alper, who has supported himself as a full-time comedian since 1986, says even at 65, retirement never crossed his mind. “I live for the moment when I can get up on the stage and make people laugh,” says Vermont-based rabbi-cum-comedian who performs 60-70 shows a year at colleges and synagogues across the country.

And Alper is not alone. The number of workers 65+ who are choosing to keep working has been on the rise for more than two decades.

In 1998, 11.9% of workers 65+ remained in the labor force. In 2008, it was 16.8%. This year, 18% say they will continue working. And by 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22% of older workers will continue to punch a clock.

Even the wealthy are reluctant to retire from the workforce, according to a report released on Sunday by Barclays Wealth. Half of the high net worth respondents over 65 surveyed said they will always be involved in commercial or professional work of some kind.

Dubbed “nevertirees,” many wealthy individuals will never stop working, the report said, even if they have little financial need to do so. Like Alper, they want to keep doing what they are doing for as long as possible.

Full Story: Older workers delay retirement by necessity and choice – Sep. 28, 2010.