The new reality of old age in America


“I’ll work till I die, if I can, as a result of I want the cash,” stated Dever, seventy four, who drove 1,four hundred miles to this Maine campground from his house in Indiana to take a short lived job that pays $10 an hour.

Dever shifted gently within the tractor seat, a rubber cushion rigorously positioned to ease the bursitis in his hip – a snapshot of the brand new actuality of previous age in America.

Individuals are dwelling longer, costlier lives, typically with out a lot of a security internet. In consequence, document numbers of People older than sixty five are working – now almost 1 in 5. That proportion has risen steadily over the previous decade, and at a far quicker fee than some other age group. In the present day, 9 million senior residents work, in contrast with four million in 2000.

Whereas some work by selection somewhat than want, hundreds of thousands of others are getting into their golden years with alarmingly fragile funds. Elementary modifications within the U.S. retirement system have shifted duty for saving from the employer to the employee, exacerbating the nation’s wealthy-poor divide. Two current recessions have devastated private financial savings. And at a time when 10,000 child boomers are turning sixty five every single day, Social Safety advantages have misplaced a few third of their buying energy since 2000.

Polls present that the majority older individuals are extra frightened about operating out of cash than dying.

“There isn’t any a part of the nation the place nearly all of center-class older staff have sufficient retirement financial savings to take care of their lifestyle of their retirement,” stated Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist who focuses on retirement safety. “Individuals are coming into retirement with much more nervousness and lots much less shopping for energy.”

On their day off, Jeannie and Richard Dever take their clothes to a local laundromat. Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson.

In consequence, many older staff are hitting the street as work campers – additionally referred to as “workampers” – those that shed pricey life, buy RVs and journey the nation choosing up seasonal jobs that sometimes supply hourly wages and few or no advantages.

Amazon’s “CamperForce” program hires hundreds of those silver-haired migrant staff to field on-line orders through the Christmas rush. (Amazon chief government Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Publish.) Walmart, whose big parking tons are well-known for welcoming RV vacationers, has employed aged individuals as retailer greeters and cashiers. Web sites such because the Workamper Information listing jobs as various as ushering at NASCAR tracks in Florida, choosing sugar beets in Minnesota and dealing as safety guards within the Texas oil fields.

In Maine, which calls itself “Vacationland,” hundreds of seniors are drawn every…



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