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Americans who work longer have shorter life expectancies according to research

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In 2022, 82-year-old Warren Marion was working at Walmart when a younger man named Rory McCarty walked into the store.

McCarty felt bad that the elderly man was working 8–to 9-hour shifts. So he decided to make a TikTok video about the situation and started a GoFundMe for the elderly man. The public felt sympathy, and soon enough the GoFundMe reached over $100,000.

Marion was able to retire, pay off his bills and visit his family that was living in Florida.

Economist Teresa Ghilarducci is author of the new book “Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy.” She argues that this method of relying on the kindness of strangers is unsustainable. We would need about 3 million more GoFundMe accounts for employees over 75 who can't retire.

There's also evidence that working longer does not guarantee that you'll have improved retirement financial security. In fact, sometimes, people only feel they're better off after they retire in older age because they're closer to death.

Low-income employees are also more likely to retire before age 70, and do not receive full Social Security benefits. This essentially punishes those who are forced to retire before 70.

For a lot of Americans, retirement has become a luxury instead of a guarantee. Are you prepared for retirement? Have you passed retirement age but continue to work out of necessity?


Teresa Ghilarducci is a labor economist and professor of economics at The New School for Social Research. Her new book is "Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy."

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255 or email thesource@tpr.org.

This interview will air on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

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