The American work force is graying — and not just because the American population itself is graying. Older adults are staying in the labor force longer, and younger adults are staying out of it longer.
They have different values, beliefs and lifestyles, but young and old today are disagreeing without being disagreeable. Both also share a fondness for Woodstock-era rock and roll.
If a latter-day Ponce de Leon were to search for a modern fountain of youth, he’d do well to explore America’s West. There he’d find the highest concentration of older adults in the United States who don’t think of themselves as old.
There is a sizable gap between the expectations that young and middle-aged adults have about old age and the actual experiences reported by older adults themselves.
In the midst of a recession that has taken a heavy toll on many nest eggs, just over half of all working adults ages 50 to 64 say they may delay their retirement — and another 16% say they never expect to stop working.
Older adults are less likely than younger and middle-aged adults to say that in the past year they have cut back on spending; suffered losses in their retirement accounts; or experienced trouble paying for housing or medical care.