Age-friendly domains:
Civic participation
and employment,
Part II

The notion of 65 being a magical retirement age goes back to the mid-1900s, a time when most Americans worked for a single employer for most of their career, large companies had generous retirement plans and, let’s not forget – most women were not in the paid workforce. SO much has changed and our ideas of when to work and when to retire must change, too.

Working past the traditional retirement age of 60 to 65 has many benefits. Although income from work certainly plays an important role in maintaining financial security, many surveys of people 65+ repeatedly found that most also work because they want to.

Of course, employment provides income and economic security. But it also provides so much more: Employment, whether a part-time job or a long career, can have positive impacts on someone’s overall well-being by providing social connections and purpose, as well as allowing people to share years of experience and expertise. Many find their vocation an essential part of their identity that they have been passionate about for years.

COVID forced countless employers to make accommodations to the work environment, many of which apply to an older workforce. These adaptations often eliminated challenges that would make one consider retiring, such as a long commute, rigid hours, location, schedules and accessibility. And like all the “petals” on the flower representing the domains of age-friendliness, what benefits an older worker benefits all employees – working parents, caregivers, people who don’t drive and young people exploring careers.

NJAAW’s Executive Director Cathy Rowe, DrPH, was invited to speak at Gov. Murphy's virtual bill signing of S397/A681 legislation to extend protections against age discrimination. Read her statement here. If you missed our previous coverage on age-friendly domains, read past issues of NJAAW News and Resources here!