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Nice piece in the Los Angeles Times about how an expanding number of people who are 75 years old and older are deciding to keep working – some because they have to, but many because they want to.

“For this hardy crowd, work keeps their bodies fit and their minds active,” the LAT writes. “It gives their lives vitality and purpose, they say, while bringing in income that is a bonus for some and a necessity for others.”

According to the paper, “These older workers are an example of what the U.S. workforce will look like in years to come as people live longer, healthier lives. The number of employed workers 75 and older grew from 669,000 in 1994 to just under 1 million last year, according to Labor Department statistics. Those numbers will increase as the large baby boom generation ages.”

The Times also notes that while companies are increasingly open to hiring senior citizens, there still seems to be something of a bias against people older than 75…but that even this is diminishing with time.
KC's View:
This is an important trend for retailers to be aware of, not just because these folks are the employees of the future, but because they will be an expanding consumer segment as well.

Our favorite examples from the piece are the 93-year-old surveyor who still pounds stakes five days a week on ranches in rural Wyoming, and the 101-year-old woman who still works several days a week in her family’s bottled water business, filling orders and doing the books.

We often tell Mrs. Content Guy, when she brings up retirement, that we have no intention of quitting this gig until we keel over at the laptop. (She usually throws something at us when we say this; she must have imagined a different scenario for her golden years.) Unlike what the guy does out in Wyoming, this isn’t exactly heavy lifting. After all, we read, write, eat, drink and occasionally even think for a living.

Ought to be able to do that until we hit 100. At least.