Will People Be Healthy Enough to Work Longer?

Posted: 7 Mar 2010

See all articles by Alicia H. Munnell

Alicia H. Munnell

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Mauricio Soto

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Alex Golub-Sass

Boston College - Center For Retirement Research (CRR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2008

Abstract

If Americans continue to retire at age 63, a great many will risk income shortfalls especially at older ages. Because work directly increases current income, Social Security benefits, retirement saving, and decreases the length of retirement, a logical solution would be to increase the age of retirement. But are Americans healthy enough to work longer? Using the National Health Interview Study, this paper shows that healthy life expectancy increased by about three years over 1970-2000 for the average 50-year old man. This increase is largely the result of men moving up the education ladder, with minimal increases within educational groups. Moreover, major disparities in healthy life expectancy remain between those in the bottom and top quartiles of the population. And these disparities mean that a vulnerable portion of the population - perhaps those who most need to work longer - might not be able to extend their work lives.

Suggested Citation

Munnell, Alicia and Soto, Mauricio and Golub-Sass, Alex, Will People Be Healthy Enough to Work Longer? (August 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1549642

Alicia Munnell (Contact Author)

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-1762 (Phone)

Mauricio Soto

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Alex Golub-Sass

Boston College - Center For Retirement Research (CRR)

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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