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Reconstructing RetirementWork and Welfare in the UK and USA$
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David Lain

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326175

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326175.001.0001

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The choice to work at age 65+?

The choice to work at age 65+?

(p.131) Six The choice to work at age 65+?
Reconstructing Retirement

David Lain

Policy Press

This final empirical chapter examines the extent to which working at age 65-plus is ‘a free choice’, rather than the result of financial necessity. The chapter presents an analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the US Health Retirement Study. It examines the stated motivations for working and the influence of couples’ shared leisure on employment. It also analyses the relationship between financial resources and working. It finds that employment is most common among the richest, and least prevalent among the poorest. Between these two extremes, significant numbers of Americans appear to work for financial reasons. The ‘choice’ to work is therefore subject to considerable constraint. In England, there is less evidence of financially motivated employment, although this is predicted to increase following the abolition of mandatory retirement. Nevertheless, realistic opportunities to work at age 65-plus are likely to be less certain than policy assumes.

Keywords:   working at age 65-plus, financial necessity, retirement, motivations for working, mandatory retirement

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