Sep 25, 2023 - News

Nearly 20% of Philadelphia seniors are working past 65

Illustration of an office chair with a doily on top, sitting on front of vintage wallpaper.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Nearly 1 in 5 Philadelphia seniors are working past the age of 65.

Why it matters: That decision is rarely by choice and instead often driven by fear and financial insecurity, advocacy groups say.

What's happening: At an age when people could historically retire and get full Social Security benefits, 18.8% of Philly seniors β€”Β or 42,665 people β€” remain in the workforce, per a new study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The big picture: That's below the national average. About 21% of U.S. seniors aged 65 and over remain in the workforce, or 11.8 million people.

  • Among cities with the highest population of working seniors, Alexandria, Virginia, ranks first (nearly 37%), followed by Tallahassee, Florida (approximately 31%), per the study.

By the numbers: The median household income for Philly's working seniors is $33,894, according to the chamber's study.

Between the lines: Many Americans say they're unprepared for retirement, unsure how to plan, and don't know if they even want to fully give up work, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

  • One in five Americans say they don't think they'll ever retire while 36% of those 55 and older say they'll be able to retire at the time they expected.

What they're saying: Many find meaning and connection through the jobs they do, but for others, a high cost of living means they can't afford to step back, Jason Erskine, a spokesperson for AARP in Washington, told Axios Seattle's Christine Clarridge.

  • "Whether it's housing, utilities, groceries or pain at the pump β€” older adults are finding themselves squeezed financially," he said.

What to watch: The share of older workers in the U.S. workforce is projected to continue to rise in the coming years, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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