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Series Overview: More Americans Working Past Retirement Age

Posted: February 12, 2013

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Most people don't expect to work beyond retirement age, but for a growing number of older people, it's a reality. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are still working. For those 75 years and older, 7 percent are still on the job. An NPR series profiles some of these working seniors.

John David, 73, chats with one of his students after his exercise class at the 92nd St Y in New York.

John David, 73, chats with one of his students after his exercise class at the 92nd St Y in New York.

The top financial worry of Americans is that they won't have enough money when they retire, according to a recent Gallup poll. And the average age at which Americans expect to retire keeps rising — from age 60 in the mid-1990s to age 67 now, the survey showed.

Working past retirement age isn't an expectation. But for a growing number of older people, it's their reality. In fact, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are still working. Even among people who are 75 and older, 7 percent are still on the job.

Sometimes these people are working because they need the money. Increasingly, however, people are staying in the workforce into their later years because they're living longer and staying healthy longer.

We meet some of the older Americans who are still on the job in the series Working Late. Among our stories, we profile a 73-year-old fitness instructor for seniors in New York City; a 69-year-old part-time barber shop owner in Illinois; a midwife who's still delivering babies at all hours of the day and night at 71; and a lawmaker from Wisconsin who, at 85, is the longest-serving state legislator in the country.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job

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