Retirement seems to be farther and farther away for many Americans. U.S. seniors are working more than ever and longer. The reason? They don’t have enough money.

U.S. Seniors are Working More Than Ever

U.S. Seniors are Working More Than Ever


In 57 years, the rate of retirement-aged workers has gone up 20% according to a new report from United Income. In early 1985 retirement-aged workers only made up 10% of the U.S. labor force. The most significant spike is from college-educated older workers. Those with at least an undergraduate degree is up to 53% from 1985’s 25%.

The rise of older people going to college has pushed the demographic’s inflation-adjusted income to an average of $78,000. That’s 63% higher than the $48,000 in 1985.

Younger American workers saw their average income rise by only 38% over that same period.

United Income’s information comes from the recently released data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Who Needs the Work?


Out of the two groups of college educated and less educated seniors, it’s the less educated seniors who need the work more. Though the college educated are the ones more likely to work.

The BLS believes a big wave of baby boomers will be the strongest growth in the labor force through at least 2024. It’s estimated that Social Security replaces only around 40 to 50% of worker’s income before retirement. It’s thought that people who retire need about 80% of their income before retirement.

The typical worker is in the bottom 50% of the income distribution. They earn less than 40,000 a year and have no retirement savings. People in the middle 40% of income distribution earn anywhere between $40,000 to 115,000 and have $60,000 saved. People in the top 10% make more than $115,000 and have an average of $200,000 saved for retirement.

It’s guessed that to retire you would need a million or two and be comfortable.

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