What Explains the Widening Gap in Retirement Ages by Education?
The brief’s key findings are:
- The increase in the average retirement age has been driven almost solely by those with more education.
- Those with less education have:
- seen less improvement in health;
- faced more physically demanding jobs and less flexible work schedules;
- experienced slower increases in lifespans, meaning less to gain from delaying Social Security; and
- seen steeper drops in marriage rates, providing less incentive to work longer in order to retire with a younger spouse.
- These trends make it harder for those with less education to achieve a secure retirement.