Older Americans Staying in Workforce Longer

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Valdosta, GA - August 9, 2011

Mike Rentz is going on his 33rd year working at Barnes Drugstore in Valdosta. He's 57-years-old.

"There's a certain amount of drive that you need to work and to have a good quality of life," says Rentz, the director of retail pharmacy.

It's a lifestyle that's becoming harder to achieve and forcing older Americans to delay retirement by working longer.

Rentz says, "As head of the household I want to be sure my family is taken care of and all their needs are met and they have the special things in life."

The Employment Benefit Research Institute says over 40 percent of people 55 or older are staying in the workforce longer. Compared with 30 percent in 1993. Experts say older workers do so to access benefits, pay for medical care and accumulate assets for their 401 (k) plans.

For Rentz, that will mean retiring at 65. Five years later than he'd planned.

"The economy is not what we thought it would be 30 years ago," says Rentz. "The return on our investments are nowhere what we thought it would be. Retirement age has been pushed back."

Rentz says at 60 he'll start evaluating his monthly income from retirement investments, but for many, that planning will come years later.

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