Ask certified public accountant Milton Resnick whether he's ready to retire, and you get a snappy answer: "I play tennis on Sundays and Wednesdays; maybe I can play golf three days a week. Now I've accounted for 28 hours a week, what do I do with the rest of my time?"
At age 73, Resnick continues to serve clients at his own firm in Millburn, N.J., answering tax questions, helping with mortgages or equipment lease financing, preparing financial statements and completing tax returns. His one concession to being 11 years older than the typical new retiree is to leave the office no later than 6:30 p.m. — although he still works seven-day weeks during tax season.
"I enjoy work. It’s challenging," he said. "It gives me purpose."
"One of the big changes over the last 30 years is that the pathway out of the labor force has gotten much more complex. People used to go from full-time work to full-time retirement," said Richard W. Johnson, senior fellow at the Urban Institute. "More and more people are slowly transitioning out of the labor force. Part-time work has become much more common for people in their 50s and 60s than it used to be. There's this real desire for part-time work at older ages."
Resnick is one of a growing number of Americans who are delaying the age of retirement, as they live longer and healthier lives. Policy makers view this phenomenon as cause for celebration, because they say it is critical to solving the long-term U.S. fiscal crisis as more and more Americans reach the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security.
Over the past 16 years, labor force participation rates for men aged 62 to 74 climbed 39 percent, reversing three decades of decline. At the same time, participation for older women jumped 66 percent. In 2010, the government reported the highest number of 60-somethings in the work force since age-specific records began in 1948 — 12.9 million.
By KATHERINE REYNOLDS LEWIS, The Fiscal Times January 11, 2011 Read Full ArticleQuickly Create Customized Resume Cover Letters