Life in the USA
Retirement and Aging
New Careers and Education
One of the features of American life most advantageous to seniors is the opportunity to change careers or pursue new interests. Retired people with secure fixed incomes have the leeway to take jobs at lower salaries because the money is extra. The “fast-food” industry has traditionally employed teenagers at minimal wages. Due to the present scarcity of teenage labor, the industry has turned to retired people for stable, reliable workers. But not all retired people work for the minimum wage flopping hamburgers. Many set up as consultants for a high hourly rate, using their skills and insights and working where and when they want to. Even the fast food chains have discovered that retirees are particularly reliable. They have been promoting their older employees into managerial positions.
Continuing Education. Many colleges allow retired people to take courses at little or no cost. Some even have special programs for older people and provide inexpensive residence facilities on college campuses. It is common in colleges all over the country to see older people studying alongside students one quarter their age.
Getting Younger all the Time. As the population of the nation gets older, the youth orientation weakens. The modern trend is for senior citizens to be active rather than to sit in rocking chairs all day long. The most positive and healthy senior citizens in America work because they want to, though the work is on their own terms.
Next Section: Advantages for Senior Citizens
Retirement and Aging: Chapter Home
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