Retiring at a later age may require a boost in healthy life expectancy

Person walking with a cane

Working longer and later in the lifespan is more possible if it is paired with the “compression of morbidity” β€” a delayed onset of disability or illness. Center Director Lisa Berkman and her colleague John Rowe have published an article in Nature Aging in which they review recent findings that suggest that while life expectancy may be increasing, the period of life in which functional impairments and disabilities are experienced is also lengthening. Berkman and Rowe offer these concluding remarks…

Policy-makers must understand that both retirement and working-longer policies are inextricably linked to social policies, educational opportunities and resources aimed at reducing disadvantages for many lower- and middle-wage workers and their families. They are inseparable. Raising the retirement age without considering working conditions themselves, as well as the health of workers, will further leave behind already-disadvantaged men and women in the labor force.