The New York Times is reporting that “A record 7.2 million Americans age 65 and older are working — double the number 15 years ago — partly because many older Americans love to work and partly because many feel too financially squeezed to retire.”
It’s not terribly surprising. Not so long ago, people used to be able to rely on Social Security and pensions. Now a company providing for an employee in retirement is unheard of, Social Security payments are delayed, and stocks took a dive, pulling down already struggling 401ks that were no longer receiving matches from employers.
Add to that the fact that the housing market tanked, making many potential retirees unable to sell off their homes and downsize to smaller dwellings or rentals while living off the sale price, and you have a myriad of reasons for older Americans to refuse to leave the workforce. On top of those concerns, health care costs — one of the biggest factors for the elderly — continue to rise, and the age of eligibility for Medicare leaves a huge gap between potential for retirement and an actual ability to leave a job that provides health insurance.
It’s yet another reason that the Affordable Care Act is necessary, and Republicans continue to try to cut that as well.
Every bit of the social safety net that could help seniors feel comfortable enough financially to leave their jobs has been either gutted to proposed for cuts by the Republican party, who then argues that the economy isn’t growing because there is no new hiring.
Republicans say they are all about creating jobs. In this case, it’s just one job, which they want to keep you working at until you die.
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