AP: Working Past 65? It’s Easier to Do If You Graduated College

Close to one in five Americans who are 65 and older are still working, the highest percentage in more than half a century. However, people who did not attend college are less able to delay retirement compared to people with degrees, according to an Associated Press article published this week by reporters Stan Choe and Sarah Skidmore Sell.

It’s a crucial distinction because financial experts say both groups would benefit from working an extra year or more to improve their retirement security. By staying on the job, older Americans can build up their savings, which in too many cases are inadequate. Plus, they can allow bigger Social Security benefits to accrue. Besides, many older Americans like the idea of staying engaged by working.

“If less-educated people were retiring early and comfortable in their retirement years, good for them, but we know they aren’t,” said Matt Rutledge, research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Consider someone who turns 66 this year and would get $1,000 monthly as their Social Security benefit. If that person had retired at 62, their monthly benefit would have been only $750. And for each year they delay getting benefits past 66, the size of that benefit will grow by 8 percent, until they reach age 70.

Other article highlights:

  • Among men aged 50 and over, 61 percent of workers without a college degree have to move heavy loads as a regular part of their job. That’s more than double the 23 percent rate of their college-graduate peers;
  • Lower-educated workers also are much more likely to have jobs that require them to stand all the time, do repetitive hand movements or be in tiring or painful positions; and
  • “It’s much easier to work sitting down at a computer at 65 than in a warehouse,” said Craig Copeland, senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute.”