Biden And Trump Are Working Into Their 80s — Should You? Why Workers Older Than 75 Are The Fastest-Growing Labor Force And How You Can Prepare For A Long Working Career

President Joe Biden is 81 years old, and former President Donald Trump is 77 years old. In November 2028, after the end of the next presidential term, Biden will be 85, and Trump will be 81. 

Despite being just 3½ years apart in age, American voters have shown more concern about Biden’s age than Trump’s. The age factor has become a prominent issue in discussions surrounding the two candidates, with considerations about mental acuity and physical fitness shaping the conversations about how able they are to lead. 

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Questions about the fitness of older people in the workplace are not just placed on presidential candidates. Concerns about older workers, whether they are legitimate or a form of ageism, continue to impact both workers and employers. It's a pressing issue, with a recent Pew Research Center survey showing workers 75 and older are the fastest-growing group in the labor market. 

3 in 10 Older Americans Have Zero Retirement Savings

A core reason many older workers keep working is they need the money. About 3 in 10 Americans older than 59 do not have retirement savings, and many workers cannot support themselves on Social Security alone. They need to continue working, especially as life expectancy increases and the need for more funds arises. 

Author, professor and retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci discussed retirement, older workers and related topics in her recently launched book  “Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy.” In the book, she notes only 10% of Americans between ages 62 and 70 are both retired and considered financially stable. The other 90% are still working because they need to support themselves, or they retired but live at a financial standard below their preworking lifestyle. 

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The Pew Research Center lists several reasons older workers are staying in or reentering the workforce:

  • Older Americans are more educated than previous generations, and higher education leads to higher employment rates.
  • Lower disability rates and overall improved health enable more workers to extend their careers. 
  • Moving the full Social Security benefit age to 67 from its previous 65 pushed more older workers to stay employed longer. 
  • More jobs require high physical demands and set 40- or 50-hour work weeks. This flexibility and lower strain make more jobs feasible for older workers. 

Ageism And Other Roadblocks

Older people experience roadblocks in the workforce. An AARP study looked at age discrimination trends and how they can prevent workers from reaching their full potential and hinder employers from reaping the rewards from experienced staff. The report found that 78% of workers in 2020 experienced or witnessed age discrimination, a percentage that was much higher than the 61% mark in 2018. And, the study found 96% of older workers believe there is a need for stronger age-related job protections. 

Seniors provide employers with a range of benefits, including a different generational perspective, deep industry knowledge, loyalty and a desire to contribute and mentor. If you are a senior who is still working or considering going back to the workforce, consider talking to a financial adviser about your long-term plans. An adviser can help you calculate retirement options so you can make the best work and retirement decisions that take into account your fiscal situation and your goals. 

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*This information is not financial advice, and personalized guidance from a financial adviser is recommended for making well-informed decisions.

Aran Richardson has written about personal finance, investing and a range of related topics for a variety of publications. He is not a licensed financial adviser, and the content herein is for information purposes only and is not, and does not constitute or intend to constitute, investment advice or any investment service. While Richardson believes the information contained herein is reliable and derived from reliable sources, there is no representation, warranty or undertaking, stated or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information.

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