About the project
This study will determine, using data from the California Household Travel Survey, whether there is a relationship in California between mobility—e.g. access to an automobile, the physical ability to drive, living in transit-accessible locations or proximate to business centers, and working from home—and delayed retirement, measured as remaining in the paid workforce past age 60.
The population of California is aging as life expectancy increases and birth rates decline. Projections from the U.S. Census Bureau show that by 2030, the number of seniors in California will increase to 10.6 million, almost a quarter of the state population. Closely related, but far less studied, is the aging of the workforce as the population ages and many older people delay retirement either because they enjoy working or depend upon earned income to meet their needs. From a recent low of less than 6 percent of the working population, the share of employed Americans who are older than age 60 has climbed to more than10 percent of all workers and is projected to exceed 13 percent of the employed population by the middle of the next decade.
The study will also conduct interviews of older workers and recent retirees to complement the statistical findings with insights from qualitative descriptions of personal decisionmaking about work, residence, and commuting. Are the elderly who continue to work those living closer to jobs and transit routes and are they more able to drive or travel by public transit than those who have retired? Do people continue to drive or live near transit so that they can go to work or do they continue to go to work because they are able to drive or use public transit? By revealing previously unstudied patterns in California, the study will help answer these questions and shape policy related to services for the elderly, urban development, and the provision of transportation services.
Working on this project: Evelyn Blumenberg, Martin Wachs