Many of us look forward to exiting the workforce around age 63, the average age of retirement in The U.S. However, there seems to be a new trend forming among people reaching that retirement age. Older and older adults are remaining in the working world for years beyond their possible retirement.

Elderly man working in a bakery

According to The Washington Post, the portion of people 75 and older in the workforce has more than doubled since 1985, and the portion of those working full-time has increased from one percent to nearly four percent. What could be the reason for such a seemingly dramatic increase in older adults working longer?

One explanation lies in our increasing life expectancy. Seventy just isn’t that old, anymore. People are healthier and are still able to perform good work, so it is appealing to keep participating as long as possible. Society is also more welcoming of workers of broader ages filling many different positions. Some of the top jobs for over-seventies include judges, lawyers, teachers, real estate agents, CEOs, farmers, cooks, receptionists, and retail workers.

Another reason that people postpone retirement is that they simply find it boring. Someone who has been working for forty or more years might find the abundance of free time difficult to get used to. Of course, there are those who keep working out of financial necessity, too. Between those who want to keep working to fill their time and those who need to keep working, the number of very old adults in the workforce continues to rise.

At age 75, John Hayes is one example of someone choosing to work instead of retire. He still runs the store founded by his parents, and has no plans to stop anytime soon: “I plan to do it as long as I enjoy it.”

Read personal stories about choosing to work past ages 70, 80, and 90 at The Washington Post.

For more information about legal issues affecting today’s aging population, tune into Senior Law Radio with Michigan estate planning and elder care attorney, Glenn Matecun. You can listen to Senior Law Radio at 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday on 103.5 WMUZ and learn more about the program at its website here.

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