It’s common knowledge that older workers are staying on the job longer, reversing historic retirement trends. Meager savings and trashed portfolios mean that many can’t afford to quit. Social Security no longer penalizes those who continue to earn. And the great majority of older workers is employed in the education and health sectors, which aren’t physically demanding. This is bad news for those hungrily eying their La-Z-Boy recliners, but “there is a lot to like in this surge of experienced workers,” writes Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser in an editorial in yesterday’s New York Times. More salaries generate more tax revenue; seasoned talent is valuable; and it’s not a zero-sum game in terms of the job market.
Here’s a really big number: $2 trillion. According to the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post, that’s how much disappeared from Americans’ retirement savings in the last 15 months. The upshot: Americans are going to have to work longer.