The Economic Perspective: “Retiring Later”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at retiring later.  Mike, it appears to me that many people are not retiring by age 65, and instead are working longer.  If, indeed, this is the case, what are the reasons?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • People do appear to be retiring later
  • Half of people polled say they expect to retire after age 65, and this is twice as many as a decade ago
  • Combination of economic and psychological reasons
  • Economic – holdover of fears from the Great Recession – many still rebuilding portfolio
  • There are jobs available – with falling birthrate
  • The gig economy can provide more flexibility for jobs
  • Jobs aren’t physically as demanding as in the past
  • In some sense, a return to the past – 65 as a benchmark for retirement was based on Social Security – and in the 1930s, 65 exceeded the average lifespan
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.