Finally, Some Good News for Older Workers!

Well, maybe a little.  But a new study just out says workers 60 and older (I'll be there soon) are earning more than their younger counterparts.  Now, I hope that doesn't mean at Burger King!

According to, "Older workers are more educated, more productive, and make more money than ever before. And with the increasing numbers of Baby Boomers hitting age-60 mark, these trends are only going to accelerate."

Wish I could say I'd seen it.  I've been out of work for about six months and though there are some bright spots on the horizon, I must confess that I'm pretty cagey about my past experience.  I've even, I hate to admit it, lied about my college graduation and first job dates.

But recently I had an interview that went well (we'll see) and I was overjoyed to see that one of the people interviewing me was at least as old as me.  (Of course, the executive above her looked about 20!)

I, too, used to think people in their 60s should just stay home.  I remember when I worked at IBM, there were a lot of them floating around, not doing much of anything, yet still earning in the six figures.  I'm sure that's not true today. But those of us who really want to work would do just about anything to get back on the horse, even if we have to ride sidesaddle with -- or behind -- the Milleniums.

The study analyzed the productivity of workers 64 to 74, reports, and found that the older folks were every bit as useful as the young kids with earphones in the cubicle next to them. Some of it has to do with education.

"Twenty years ago, only 20 percent of workers who were high-school dropouts remained in the workforce past age 60, versus 60 percent of those with doctoral or professional degrees," Joe McKendrick quotes Gary Burtless, the author of The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College study. This stat stays essentially the same for men, but has risen for women, he adds. "Plus, since average educational levels are rising for older workers, greater labor participation rates are coming with it."

And, get this.  "Employees between the ages of 65 and 69 have had 30 percentage-point gains in income between the years 1985 and 2010," McKendrick writes. "In addition, 70-to-74-year olds saw their income grow at least 28 percentage points higher since 1985."

However, the incomes of workers 25-29 dropped seven points, and those in the 45-49 group dropped one point since 1985.

So it seems things are looking up for older vs. "prime-age" workers.  I'd like to see a little of it in my own life, but at least this was better than reading that "mature" workers should just give up!



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