According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 23% of American workers, including 20% of those over 50, think they’ll work til they drop. Another 25% think they will work past the age of 65.
But there’s a little thing called reality that often gets in the way. Health and mortality are the big reasons that workers who wanted to remain in the labor force self-select out, while others are laid off or are required to care for aging parents or an ailing spouse.
According to government data, in June about one in five people 65 and older was working or actively looking for a job. That’s higher than in recent years, but nowhere near the number of people who claim they want to work in their twilight years.
There’s no confusion over why most people want to keep punching a clock. Some like the daily activity, but for most it comes down to the paycheck. They don’t have the savings necessary to maintain their standard of living, so the choice is clear. Either work or drastically scale back.