More older Americans are staying in the labor force, but it may
not be due to love for the work.
Pamela Villarreal, senior fellow for the National Center for
Policy Analysis, says there are some companies that actually
try to maintain their older workforce as older employees have a
greater level of experience.
She adds that even though many people associate older workers
with higher health care costs, older workers tend to be more
reliable and show up for work every day. Some of them have even
become self-employed, using their skills as consultants rather than
try and re-enter the corporate world after losing their jobs.
However, that is not always the case, as Villarreal points out.
"For those who still have a job, they're trying to stay in the
labor force as long as they can until they're prepared for
retirement," she explains.
Should that serve as a warning for younger Americans to prepare
for retirement now, rather than later?
"Absolutely," Villarreal says. "In fact, I've been analyzing
some data on soon-to-be retirees, say in the age 55-
to 64-year-old age group. Many of them are still carrying
mortgages. They carry those mortgages into retirement. They're
making higher house payments, probably because of the low interest
rates that we've had for so long. They buy too much house."
Villarreal says it is a problem that extends down to people in
their early 40s.