Employed Older Adults

By Michelle Jackson, MiCAFE Network Screening and Application Specialist at Elder Law of Michigan

Older adults are going into the work force more and more every year. In the article There’s Good News for Seniors Who Want to Work Longer, Rita Williams reports the number of adults 65 and older in the work force has risen to 25.2% in February 2019. In February 2018 only 24% of older adults had joined the workforce. Also, since 2015 there has been a trend of Americans staying in the workforce later in life. Older adults continue to work due to many different reasons, often they need money to pay bills, buy medicine, and food. Some older adults work for companionship or to learn new skills.

Ms. Williams explains that rising numbers of older adults in the work force is a continuation of a trend that began prior to the recession in 2008-2009. With the better economy prior to 2008, there were more employment opportunities for older adults. In February, 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported that more older Americans are continuing to work or joining the workforce than ever before. This is partially due to the large number of people in the baby boomer generation and individuals living longer than before.

The Los Angeles Times discusses the reasons more older adults are continuing to work. For some it is a way to stay engaged, while other older adults must continue working because they have no retirement or pension and can’t afford basic necessities, like healthcare, without employment. According to PR Newswire, older Americans often continue to work until they are 70 so they can collect more income from their Social Security retirement benefit.

Access to quality healthcare as well as eating healthy foods play an important role in older adults being able to work into what is known as their golden years. National Public Radio (NPR) has more information and statistics about individuals that continue working in their golden years.

Michelle Jackson is an Economic Security Team Member for MiCAFE as well as a MMAP counselor at Elder Law of Michigan. Michelle has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since March 2013. As an Economic Security Team Member and MMAP counselor, Michelle assists Michigan seniors with benefit applications and serves as an advocate for the health and safety of seniors.