Older Americans Are Working Longer and Retiring Later

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Continuing our thread this week about the changing American workplace, here's a fact about the changing American workforce: it's getting older. In the twentieth century alone, life expectancy in developing countries shot up by an average of 30 years, leading many to work longer and retire later than their parents had. 

But the current workplace isn't set up for that kind of longevity, so workers are forced to negotiate that terrain by themselves. Susan Damour tried retiring at age 64, but less than two years later she was back in her office at the General Services Administration of the federal government.

Laura Carstensen is a professor of psychology and director of the Stanford Center on Longevitiy, and she has been studying the physical and mental health benefits of working longer and retiring later.