Pope’s retirement highlights late-in-life workers, says UMMS expert

By Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

February 14, 2013

News that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to retire has highlighted the growing number of people working past the age of 75. According to an NBCNews.com story, 1.5 million Americans aged 75 and above were employed in January—the highest monthly total in at least 10 years, a 21 percent increase over January 2012 and nearly double the number of workers from that demographic group who were punching a clock in 2003.

According to gerontologist Sarah McGee, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor of medicine, “You’re seeing it more often than you used to. Their health hasn’t precluded them from working.

“If you live to your 80s, you’re a survivor anyway,” Dr. McGee added. “That can be because you’ve done a good job of taking care of yourself, or because your parents or grandparents lived into their 90s, and you come from good stock.”

Read the full story: Pope's shocker underscores strain of late-life work