Better ‘longevity and health’: Older workers age 75-and-older increasing
It’s no secret, people are working longer in life. The Labor Department says the amount of workers age 55 and over is up 12 % from two decades ago. But that’s not the only increase happening.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - It’s no secret, people are working longer in life. The Labor Department says the amount of workers age 55 and over is up 12 % from two decades ago. And workers age 75-and-older will increase by 96% over the next decade.
It’s evidence that working adults are retiring later, and while some of it is tied to a shift away from pension plans it’s also the benefits to one’s health that has more older workers choosing to for-go retirement.
Harold Bates, owner of Bates Insurance, LLC, knows a lot about insurance.
“I learned a long time ago, that you’ve got to take care of yourself and you’ve got to take care of your people,” Bates said.
He’s a licensed insurance agent in South Carolina and Georgia, who specializes in medical and life insurance for almost 2,000 clients.
“You’ve got to want to work, because eight people out of 10 who go into the insurance business fails,” said Bates.
And would you believe Bates has been in the industry since 1954?
“Money don’t mean nothing to me,” he said.
93-year-old Bates is part of a growing group of adults who are reaping the health benefits of working longer.
“It keeps me young,” he said.
Bates is mentally sharp, physically active, and mastered work-life balance. Even after losing his wife Betty Jean four years ago.
“That’s me,” he said.
Bates isn’t alone, there’s more research and data on people like him.
“It doesn’t matter what type of job – find something,” said Nick Ulmer, MD, vice-president of Clinical Integration and Medical Director of Case Management at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. “The answer in research now is, do something. Do more. Do as much as you can. Physically challenging jobs may not be the right thing to do, but I’ve got some 87-year-olds who still work four to five days a week doing yard work and landscaping and that’s what they want to do, and it works for them.”
More studies are linking working longer with better longevity and health. One study finds older workers are three times more likely to report good health and half as likely to have serious health problems. Dr. Ulmer says there’s both mental and physical benefits.
“The more you challenge you mind – the more that you have the ability to rationalize thinking cognitively over instincts,” he said. “(And) from a physical, muscular skeletal standpoint being physically healthy is a way to stay more independent.”
But Dr. Ulmer cautions against positions that involve long-term stress.
“Could cause high blood pressure, which cause other things like stroke and heart attack. So really (while) stress is needed because we have to be on our game when we’re under the gun to get a job finished – but long-term stress is not good.”
Good information that brings a whole new meaning to life insurance.
“I don’t want to sit down,” Bates said.
Dr. Ulmer advises older workers to do what your body allows you to do, and to find a position that offers meaning. That can be through volunteering, a part-time job or a low stress full-time position.
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