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Gender, Ageing and Extended Working LifeCross-National Perspectives$
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Áine Ní Léime, Debra Street, Sarah Vickerstaff, Clary Krekula, and Wendy Loretto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.001.0001

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Is 70 the new 60? Extending American women’s and men’s working lives

Is 70 the new 60? Extending American women’s and men’s working lives

Chapter:
(p.193) Ten Is 70 the new 60? Extending American women’s and men’s working lives
Source:
Gender, Ageing and Extended Working Life
Author(s):

Debra Street

Joanne Tompkins

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.003.0010

Although the United States economy rebounded relatively quickly from the global recession, older workers wanting or needing to work longer confront similar limitations to those in other countries. The critical role of Social Security for shaping patterns of later life work is considered, alongside the US neoliberal stance that minimizes family-friendly policies that would support more equal gender outcomes for work and retirement. Instead, the structure of employment markets, persistent gender gaps in pay, raced and gendered outcomes related to sources and amounts of retirement income, and increasing retirement ages that compel some of the most vulnerable Americans to work longer are considered. The concept of extended working life is considered at both ends of the adult life course, taking into account the challenges of both young and older workers given the realities of the US labour market, underscoring the importance of taking both labour supply and demand into account to fully understand the implications of extended working lives. Although women bear a disproportionate burden of unpaid care, few compensatory policies exist to ensure their income adequacy in old age. That, combined with ageism in the American workplace, make older women who have interrupted work histories or lifetimes of low paid or part time work very vulnerable to experiencing precarious employment, or low incomes/poverty in old age.

Keywords:   Social Security, gender and work, retirement, neoliberalism, age discrimination, pension systems

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