NYC judge, 96, reflects trend showing fewer senior citizens are retiring

NYC judge, 96, reflects trend showing fewer senior citizens are retiring
A NYC judge is still working at age 96 because he loves his job. But some senior citizens are working solely because they need the money. (Chris Ryan/Getty Images)

Working until you’re almost 100 is pretty extreme.

Yet that’s exactly what 96-year-old Jack B. Weinstein is doing, according to a report in The New York Times.

It’s not as if he has an easy job, either. Weinstein works as a senior Federal District Court judge for the Eastern District of New York.

“Retire? I’ve never thought of retiring,” Weinstein told The NYT. He was first appointed to the bench more than 50 years ago and is still taking on “hot-button issues.”

“I’m a better judge, in some respects, than when I was younger,” he said. “I don’t remember names. But I listen more. And I’m more compassionate. I see things from more angles. If you are doing interesting work, you want to continue.”

Weinstein says he works because he loves his job. Other senior citizens are working to remain physically and mentally active. But some are staying employed simply because they can’t afford to retire.

Who wants to work forever?

Bloomberg News reports that about 19 percent of Americans who are 65 or older were “still working at least part-time in the second quarter of 2017.” That’s the highest employment rate for that age group in the last 55 years.

Not everyone is loving it.

Poor planning for retirement is one reason some senior citizens continue to work. Other factors contributing to the trend are rising health care costs, stagnant wages and lower pensions, Bloomberg reports.

About one-third of American workers are planning to work past age 70, a trend also seen in other nations around the world, according to Bloomberg.

The problem with planning to work forever is that it fails to consider that health problems and other factors might make it impossible.

Then there’s the difficult task of finding a company that is either willing to offer you a job or keep you employed.

“Although age discrimination has been illegal for 50 years, employers continue to see older workers as a liability,” Ruth Milkman, a sociology professor at the City University of New York, told Bloomberg.