Number of Americans planning to work into their 60s hits 7-year low

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There is yet another facet to the United States' complicated labor market: Fewer people plan to work past age 62, according to the New York Federal Reserve's most recent survey.

The portion of July survey respondents who expect to work past 62 fell to 50.1 percent, the lowest share since the survey's inception in 2014 and a drop from 51.9 percent one year prior. 

Fewer respondents plan to work past age 67, as well. A record low of 32.4 percent expect as much compared to 34.1 percent one year prior. 

The New York Fed's July 2021 Survey of Consumer Expectations is a nationally representative, web-based survey of a rotating panel of about 1,300 household heads who can participate for up to 12 months.

Early or accelerated retirements can hit healthcare especially hard given that 30 percent of physicians were over 60 in 2018, according to data from the Federation of State Medical Boards. About 26 percent of nurses were over 60 in 2018, according to data based on 50,000 registered nurses from the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration. 

The pandemic has accelerated retirements in the U.S., with the share of the population in retirement growing from 18.5 percent in February 2020 to 19.5 percent in April 2021, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. That reflects an uptick of 0.6 percentage points, or 1.5 million people, from the 2019 retirement rate, for a total of 2.6 million people who report being retired. 

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