Look around! The workforce is changing.
Studies of census, earnings, and retirement data are showing women in greater numbers (and at greater ages) are continuing to work – and at higher levels.
Women are more likely than in previous generations to work at almost every point in their lives – and have become significantly more likely to work into their 60s and 70s. Many of these women work full time and many report that they do it because they enjoy it.
Today, older women are working more than ever and getting fulfillment, not just income, from their jobs.
How much has this changed recently? Today, nearly 30 percent of women 65 to 69 are working according to an analysis by Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. This has increased by 15% in the past 30 years. Additionally, eighteen percent of women aged 70 to 74 are now working as well.
These working women are more likely (but not exclusively) to have higher education and savings. They are also the first generation of women to become professionals in large numbers. Some also have experienced divorce later in life or financial loss and have more debt than expected at their age. But most of the time, women are working longer as a result of earlier decisions to get an education and build a career.
As with many Baby Boomers today, people are living longer, healthier lives and want to be productive. The employment of men over the age of 60, incidentally has also risen, but not as quickly as that of women.