Are Older Workers Healthy Enough to Delay Retirement?

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Laura D. Quinby and Gal Wettstein, Boston College

Disability-free life expectancy had been rising continuously in the United States until 2010, suggesting working longer as a solution for those financially unprepared for retirement. However, recent developments suggest improvements in working life expectancy have stalled, especially for minorities and those with less education. This paper uses data from the National Vital Statistics System, the American Community Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey to assess how recent trends in institutionalization, physical impediments to work, and mortality have affected working life expectancy for men and women age 50, by race and education.