Retirement is changing. More people in their 80’s are choosing to stay in the workforce rather than retire. A recent piece in the Wall Street Journal profiles this dynamic and the older adults who find fulfillment in their work and enjoy the purpose and recognition their careers provide.
While older workers are a small part of the workforce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a rise in workers 75 years and older, driven by the aging baby boomer generation. Of companies listed on the S&P 500, 1.6% of board members are at least 80, up from 1.3% a decade ago.
The increase in older adults in the workforce is a powerful example that age is not a barrier to productivity and fulfillment but could be a potential boost as the country and world undergo a demographic transition.
Exercise is the proven key to living longer, protecting against age-related diseases and enhancing overall well-being. As many search for the shortcut or secret ingredient to living longer, a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal argues that regular physical activity may be it.
Regular movement stimulates muscle and bone growth, reduces falls, and lowers the risk of conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Even minimal exercise can extend lifespan, while more substantial activity offers greater benefits. It improves immune function, reduces inflammation, and enhances cognition.
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A recent study published in the GeroScience journal suggests that consuming moderate amounts of protein can benefit the aging process. The research reveals that low protein diets resulted in fatty liver development, while moderate-protein diets improved metabolic health and lowered lipid and blood sugar levels in mice. Nutritionists suggest that individuals, especially those over 50, could benefit from increasing their protein intake to around 25% of their energy consumption. Older adults, in particular, may require more protein to combat age-related muscle loss and maintain overall quality of life. While the recommended daily protein intake falls short of actual needs, understanding individual requirements and consuming protein-rich foods can support the body in aging.
As companies strive to retain their experienced talent and attract more mid- and late-career employees, they are introducing unique benefits tailored to an older demographic. One such benefit is grandternity leave, paid time off for new grandparents. While rare, companies like Cisco, Mercer, and HireVue are among those offering this benefit, ranging from a day to a couple of weeks. The rise of grandternity leave reflects the growing recognition of the value of older workers and their historical knowledge. With the labor market becoming increasingly competitive, more employers are exploring innovative ways to engage and retain older workers.