Delaying Retirement Good for Medicare

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 12 (UPI) — With many baby boomers delaying retirement because of the bad economy, the finances of Social Security and Medicare may improve, U.S. researchers said.

Study co-author Julie Zissimopoulos, an economist at the Rand Corp., a non-profit research organization, says government projections suggest older Americans who remain employed are likely to plateau, but the Rand study finds the increase in delaying retirement may accelerate in the next two decades.

About 17 percent of Americans age 65-75 were employed in 1990, but that proportion is expected to increase to 25 percent in 2010 and even those age 75 have seen an increase in staying employed.

“Changes in pensions, longer life expectancy, less disability at older ages and more women in the workforce are all trends that are gaining momentum and are likely to cause more Americans to delay retirement,” Zissimopoulos says in a statement. “Even without new policy changes to encourage the behavior, there are good reasons to conclude that the trend will be propelled forward.”

The study, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, said Social Security changes encourage people to work longer, but many older Americans are extending their work lives not only for the income, but because their improved health allows a longer work life.

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