Bill Corse, 81, has been working for UPS for more than 43 years now, making deliveries near Quincy, Illinois. And he has no plans to retire anytime soon because he enjoys the job.
"I've had a lot of people tell me that they've said, ‘If it's on Bill's truck, I'll get it that day, no matter what,’ “ he says, describing the connections he's built with people during four decades on his daily route through small towns where the Mississippi River divides Illinois from Missouri. “They've all got my cellphone number, so they'll call me if they need a [package] really bad."
In fact, workers age 65 and older are becoming a larger share of the nation's workforce. Many continue to work for years after the traditional retirement ages. Like Corse — who says he drives “around 200 miles a day and 90-some stops” — many stay on the job because they like the work and do it well. Some also stay employed to build savings for retirement or to delay claiming Social Security benefits, which can lead to a larger monthly benefit once they do.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2024 — just five years from now — 13 million people age 65 and older will still be working. These older workers will constitute the fastest-growing segment of the workforce from 2014 to 2024. While the total number of workers is expected to increase by 5 percent over those 10 years, the number of workers ages 65 to 74 will swell by 55 percent. For people 75 and older, the total will grow a whopping 86 percent, according to BLS projections.
The reasons these adults continue to work past traditional retirement ages are varied and personal; the impact their experience and ability can have nationally and globally is significant. A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) notes that in “the context of population aging, mobilizing the potential labor force more fully and sustaining high productivity at an older age are critical."