Living the good life:
Senior citizens are leaving the labor force sooner than they did 50 years ago, even though they are living longer, healthier lives, according to a landmark analysis of census data released Thursday.
....The report attributes the declining work rate among older Americans to the growth in private pensions and Social Security and Medicare benefits. As benefits for older Americans grew in the last half of the 20th century, fewer saw the need to work beyond age 65, said Mitra Toossi, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
....While almost half of men 65 and older worked or looked for work in 1950, fewer than 20 percent were in the labor force by 2003.
Women are working in much larger numbers earlier in life, but among those 65 and older, their participation in the labor force has remained steady at around 10 percent since 1950.