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Will People Be Healthy Enough to Work Longer?

Author

Listed:
  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Mauricio Soto
  • Alex Golub-Sass

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

  • Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto & Alex Golub-Sass, 2008. "Will People Be Healthy Enough to Work Longer?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-11, Center for Retirement Research, revised Aug 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2008-11
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    File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/will-people-be-healthy-enough-to-work-longer-2/
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenichiro Kashiwase & Masahiro Nozaki & Kiichi Tokuoka, 2012. "Pension Reforms in Japan," IMF Working Papers 12/285, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Gurvich, Ye., 2011. "Long-Term Demographic Challenges and Pension Policy," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 9, pages 193-196.
    3. Beatrice Scheubel & Daniel Schunk & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Don't Raise the Retirement Age! An Experiment on Opposition to Pension Reforms and East-West Differences in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2752, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Roel Beetsma & Alessandro Bucciol, 2011. "Risk Sharing in Defined-Contribution Funded Pension Systems," CESifo Working Paper Series 3640, CESifo Group Munich.

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