NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Baby Boomers Shun Retirement

June 22, 1998

Four out of five Americans now between the ages of 34 and 52 -- the baby boomers -- say they want to keep on working at least part-time after the normal retirement age. This pool of talent could help supply the labor needs of America's rapidly growing economy, experts say.

  • In 1996, some 58 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 were in the work force.
  • Just 12 percent of people over the age of 65 worked.
  • But the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 63 percent of those between ages 55 and 64 will be in the work force as of 2006 -- along with nearly 13 percent of those over age 65.
  • In a recent poll by the American Association of Retired Persons, 35 percent of baby boomers who said they intended to work during their "retirement" years said they would do so for reasons of interest or enjoyment -- and 23 percent cited the need for additional income.

Some experts think the BLS projections significantly understate the proportion of baby boomers who will continue to work after age 55.

Source: Anna Bray Duff, "Boomers Redefine 'Retirement,'" Investor's Business Daily, June 22, 1998.


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