America’s New Old Workforce: When Your Body Tells You It’s Time to Retire

BY David Pelcyger and Elizabeth Shell  June 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM EST


Video shot and produced by David Pelcyger.

When Floridian Mike Kemp bought a bike store in 2001, he had no problem pulling 40-pound bikes off the top shelf. Now 69 and with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), each box moves him closer to retirement.

PBS NewsHour profiled Kemp as part of an upcoming report. Friday we introduced you to Babs Tatialas, a 68-year-old former businesswoman who was forced out of retirement due to the financial crash. Now, she has a new career she loves.

So, is retirement as we know it a thing of the past? How long are we likely to work? We have spent the past year looking at the factors — demography, economics and just plain personal preference — that help explain what’s happening to the American workforce as it ages in our special project, New Adventures for Older Workers.