**‘I Had to Go Back’: Over 55, and Not Retired After All**
**After leaving the labor force in unusual numbers early in the pandemic, Americans approaching retirement age are back on the job at previous levels.**
**By Ben Casselman, The New York Times, May 19, 2022**
**Whether by choice or financial necessity, millions of older Americans have made the same move in recent months. Nearly 64 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 were working in April, essentially the same rate as in February 2020. That’s a more complete recovery than among most younger age groups....**
**The share of Americans reporting that they were retired did rise sharply in the spring of 2020. But retirement is not an irreversible decision....As the economy has reopened and the public health situation has improved, “unretirements” have rebounded and have recently returned roughly to their prepandemic rate...The return of older workers has been concentrated among those in their late 50s and early 60s, people who were still several years or more away from retirement when the pandemic began. The employment rate among those 65 and older fell more sharply and has been much slower to recover. ...** [end quote]
The most dangerous age, financially, is between 55 and 65, when the worker is too young for Medicare but health insurance costs rise dramatically.
The current stock market meltdown and inflation will force older workers to replenish their retirement accounts and income by going back to work.
The government has already encouraged older workers to rejoin the work force by extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) past the age of 65. I hope this provision is permanent. It was unfair to deny the EITC to people ekeing out a living on a meager Social Security check and minimum wage job just because they reached the arbitrary age of 65.
If the government really wants to get retirees back to work they will change the tax code which taxes Social Security for higher income people to exclude W-2 earnings.
Many METARs are wealthy retirees who don’t need additional earnings. But I see plenty of seniors as an AARP Tax Aide volunteer who are living on low income and might go back to work if the financial benefit was there.