Americans are working later in life, delaying retirement for a variety of reasons. While some continue working by choice, others needto remain in the workforce for financial reasons. Regardless of their motivation, the result is that people in the United States are working beyond what conventionally is thought of as retirement age. While most studies related to this issue have focused on how individually based factors such as health status, pension plans, and financial incentives influence the decision to retire, relatively little is known about employment patterns, obstacles to employment, or the ensuing economic impact.
The Foundation’s Working Longer program began grant making in 2010 to expand and deepen our understanding of aging Americans’ work patterns. The goal is to understand a) employer practices by industry and sector; b) obstacles to continued employment of older Americans; and c) the economic consequences for both individuals and for the federal budget.