Longer life spans and savings shortfalls will likely keep Baby Boomers in the workforce past traditional retirement age, according to new government projections.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than a fifth of Boomers 65 and older will still be working in 2024. By comparison, just one-tenth of those over 65—Baby Boomers’ parents—were sill employed in 1994.
Some Boomers will stay in the workforce well into their 70s. By 2024, the BLS estimates that 10.6 percent of workers will be 75 and older, almost double the 1994 rate of 5.4 percent.
Life expectancy is a key factor. In 1990, men lived an average of 71.8 years; for women, the average was 78.8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, however, the average man lived 76.4 years, and the average female lived to 81.2.
Retirement savings—or, more specifically, lack of savings—are also keeping Baby Boomers in the workforce longer. According to a recent study, nearly half of Boomers over the age of 50 (45 percent) said they didn’t have enough saved for retirement, and more than one-third (39 percent) said they plan to earn income by working in retirement. However, the study found that fully 60 percent of recent retirees stopped working sooner than planned, meaning many Boomers shouldn’t count on those extra working years.