Why More Americans Are Working Past Age 65

Retirement at 65 is no longer a feasible option for many people.

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Higher Social Security retirement age. The age workers can claim the full amount of Social Security benefits they have earned is no longer age 65 for everyone born after 1937. The full retirement age is now 66 for most baby boomers and is scheduled to further increase to 67 for people born in 1960 or later. Many people affected by the increase to age 66 delayed claiming Social Security benefits until this older age, likely to avoid having their monthly payments reduced for claiming early, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office report. The CBO projects that the labor force participation rate among people ages 65 to 69 will further increase from about 37 percent in 2012 to approximately 41 percent in 2022 among men, and from 28 percent to about 32 percent among women as a result of the older retirement age.

[Read: Workers Who Get the Best Retirement Benefits.]

Longevity. Many workers are physically able to work beyond traditional retirement age due to continuing good health. "Health conditions are better managed than they were in the past and that makes it possible for workers, even with health limitations, to remain in the workplace," says Rix. There's also a growing realization that if you retire at age 65 and live until age 95, you will need to save enough to pay for 30 years of retirement. If you can shorten that period even by a few years, you will give yourself more time to save and have fewer years of retirement you need to finance.