Working Seniors Earn More

Working Seniors Earning More

According to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College1, the earned income of people in their 60s and 70s who are still working is growing faster than for those in their "prime" working years - age 35 to 54. The study concludes that these findings are influenced by the following three factors:

  1. Older workers today tend to be more college educated, whereas in previous generations older workers were less educated. This higher education level enables seniors to work longer in white collar positions, whereas in previous generations seniors were limited in how long they could work due to physical constraints associated with more blue collar roles.

  2. While earnings for both older men and women have grown over the years, there has been a significant increase for men. Back in 1985, elderly men tended to earn about 70 cents for every $1.00 of average annual income earned by men in their prime working years. However, as of 2010 that has increased to 92 cents per dollar. 

  3. The study found that older workers who are paid by the hour generally are on par with those in peak working years - which is considered a measure of equal productivity.

This is good news for baby boomers that see themselves working later into their senior years than their parents. As the oldest of the boomers turn 67 this year, it is likely these earnings numbers will continue to improve - a sign that continued good health and a lifetime of experience is increasing in value.

1 Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, "The Impact of Population Aging and Delayed Retirement on Workforce Productivity," May 2013;