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Helping People Age with Dignity

More and more U.S. elderly individuals continuing to work

One thing that has become increasingly common in the U.S. is elderly individuals continuing to work rather than going into retirement.

This can be seen in federal statistics. Between 1994 and now, the rate of individuals over 65 in the U.S. remaining in the workforce has gone from around one in 10 individuals to around one in five. Additionally, over the past decade, the number of working U.S. seniors has risen by around 4 million.

These increases have put elderly individual workforce participation at record high levels in the nation. And many anticipate that the prevalence of elderly individuals staying at work will continue to go up in upcoming years.

There are many reasons why an elderly individual may decide to keep working. Some choose to keep working as a matter of personal preference. For others though, the decision may come about as a result of concerns that their current financial situation isn’t strong enough for them to retire. It is thought that financial concerns and uncertainty have been a big driver in the increase in elderly workforce participation in America.

As this illustrates, sometimes, an individual’s elderly years don’t go the way they thought they would when they were younger.

Among the many things that can be different for an elderly individual when they are working versus being in retirement is what sort of estate planning mechanisms and strategies would be best for them. A working senior’s overall financial circumstances can be quite different from the circumstances of a retired senior, and overall financial situation is among the things that could have impacts on a person’s estate planning needs and goals.

As this underscores, when things don’t go quite as planned for a person in their elderly years, some estate planning changes (such as updates to a will) might be needed to adjust to the new circumstances. Experienced elder law attorneys can give elderly individuals who have an estate plan guidance on whether they might need to update their estate planning mechanisms in connection to unexpected things that have happened during their elderly years.

Source: CBS Money Watch, “The new golden years? Work, work, and more work,” Aimee Picchi, May 13, 2016

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