Older Workers Are Happy, but Concerned

By Dennis McCafferty
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    Nine out of 10 American workers who are 50 years old or older say they're either "somewhat" or "very" satisfied with their jobs.

When you're a young professional, you may not fully appreciate the value of colleagues who are 50 years of age or older. You may even dismiss them by saying, "They're old and set in their ways. I'll never let that happen to me." But the reality is that one day, you will be one of the "old folks" in the office. This recent survey from Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research provides a glimpse into the future: By 2020, about one-quarter of American workers will be 55 and older, up from just under one-fifth in 2010, according to federal projections. Because of economic times, people are staying in the workforce longer: The average retirement age has risen to 62, up from 57 in the pre-recession days. So, what's it like to try to keep a career going past the typical retirement age? On the positive side, the vast majority of the older employees surveyed say they're happy at work. On the discouraging side, many feel that they've suffered from age discrimination, in the form of getting passed over for promotions or raises, or receiving unwanted job assignments. Nearly 1,025 adults age 50 and over took part in the research.

This article was originally published on 2013-12-06
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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