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Why more retirement-age people are still punching the clock, plus a look at the benefits and challenges to changing careers at 50

by AirTalk®

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Clayton Fackler, 72, works at the check out at the new 2,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter store May 17, 2006 in Bowling Green, Ohio. J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

According to latest figures, 19 percent of Americans over 65 years old are still punching the clock.

Not since 1962 have so many workers past retirement age still been part of the labor force.

It could be that some workers are choosing to continue working because they enjoy their jobs, and they happen to be getting older as life expectancy in the country stretches longer.

But many older Americans are working because they can't afford not to. More than a quarter of workers aged 55 or older say they have less than $10,000 dollars in savings and investments. A third of these workers say they expect to work until they're at least 70, if they retire at all. Some even have to change careers as they approach retirement age because they can’t afford not to work and the field they spent their career working in is no longer lucrative enough.

Why are older workers getting farther and farther away from retirement? What age do you plan to retire? What factors do you consider when thinking about retirement? Do you think private companies, state governments, or individuals take care of retirement plans?


Lori Shreve Blake, senior director of Alumni and Student Career Services at USC

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