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Retiring Retirement

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Retiring Retirement

A Growing Portion of the Elderly Look and Act Anything But


5 min read
5 take-aways
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What's inside?

Retirement at age 65 no longer makes sense for workers, the economy or progressive employers.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


The US government set the age of eligibility for the national pension program at 65 in 1935, when health and life expectancies were drastically different from today. Writer Linda Marsa, herself over age 65, reveals why retirement is a persistent but outdated concept. Data show that many older adults are willing and able to continue working and that the economy will need them to do so. Progressive companies are starting to adapt the workplace to accommodate them and profiting from it. getAbstract recommends this article to mature workers and those in a position to hire them.


The US government introduced a pension for retirees in 1935. Economics required the program to have an eligibility age, even though health was clearly a more important factor in people’s ability to work. By setting the age at 65, the government stereotyped over-65s as less healthy and less independent than their younger counterparts. Rising life expectancies and the trend towards less physically demanding work hasn’t changed this perception.

In a recent US study, more than half of participants over age 85 felt healthy enough to continue working. Today’s over-65s have...

About the Author

Linda Marsa is a contributing editor at Discover magazine and author of Fevered: How a Hotter Planet Will Harm Our Health.

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