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More New Jerseyans Put Off Retirement, Many Citing Financial Concerns

Nearly 25 percent of Garden State residents over age 65 are still working full- or part-time

Frans Philippi has no plans to retire soon. Aged 66, he works full-time as a state building inspector. “I was expecting, probably I was going to work until 70, but I was expecting at 66 to collect Social Security, get my pension and just downsize and just enjoy my life. That’s basically it,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”

Concerns over paying his children’s tuition bills as well as the uncertainty of state worker pension funding have contributed to his decision to keep on working.

He is not alone. A growing number of Americans in their 60s and 70s are still working. According to U.S. labor statistics, 4 million Americans — some 12.8 percent of those 65 and older — reported working full- or part-time in the year 2000. That compares to 9 million — 18.8 percent — this May. In New Jersey, the figure is 23 percent.

Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said the average retirement age has gone up by two years over the last 20 years. She said the higher rate of older New Jerseyans still at work might be because “people in New Jersey are on average better-educated than the rest of the U.S. population and that is a strong factor there.”

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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