No chance to rest

"The percentage of workers, age 55 or older, who work full time, full year, steadily increased from 54.2 percent in 1993 to 66 percent in 2007, before a decline in 2008 to 63.9 percent," according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

I'm surprised that most people don't work full time until they are 65 or 66. When did 55 get to be retirement age? I'm also not surprised that the percentage has been increasing. The diminishment of defined pension plans and employer-provided retiree medical health benefits are surely key factors. According to the report, the 2008 decline in full time employment was attributable to the economy, not to any cutback in desire to work.

What is distressing is that these people are not retiring! Until the recession knocked them out, one in two people aged 65 to 69 were working full time, full year. That's up from one in three in 1987. Even worse, 40 percent of those aged 70 to 74 are still working full time, full year. It appears that most of these people had been working part time, but upgraded to full time over the years.

Does anyone get to rest? Do any young people get an opportunity to advance?