AP – “Close to one in five Americans who’s 65 or older is still working, the highest percentage in more than half a century. And the one who’s still working may be better off. As more and more Americans delay retirement, it’s those with a college degree that find it easiest to keep working past 65. Their less-educated peers, meanwhile, are having a more difficult time staying in the workforce. It’s a crucial distinction because financial experts say both groups would benefit from working an extra year or more to improve their retirement security. By staying on the job, older Americans can build up their savings, which in too many cases are inadequate. Plus, they can allow bigger Social Security benefits to accrue. Besides, many older Americans like the idea of staying engaged by working. Less-educated Americans, though, aren’t always able to follow this path, even though they tend to have less in retirement savings. Instead, many are forced to retire before their mid-60s because of poor health, the inability to do jobs that require a lot of physical activity or other reasons.
“If less-educated people were retiring early and comfortable in their retirement years, good for them, but we know they aren’t,” said Matt Rutledge, research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. There is a widening gap in retirement ages between college and high-school graduates, Rutledge says, one that is most apparent when looking at the average age of retirement for men. The increasing number of women in the workforce in recent decades can skew the overall figures. Men with college degrees are retiring at an average age of 65.7, according to Rutledge’s calculations based on government data. That’s nearly three years later than men with only high-school degrees, who are retiring at an average age of 62.8 In the late 1970s, though, the two groups were retiring at nearly the same age: 64.6 for college graduates and 64.1 for high-school graduates. “We see people intending to work a whole lot longer, but the problem is that for the most part, it’s a lot easier for the college graduates to fulfill that plan,” Rutledge said…”