SUNBURY — Bonnie Stahl, Linda Kniss and Lorraine Brubaker may have retired from working full time jobs, but the three woman didn’t slow down.
While Stahl, 72, started babysitting her great-grandchildren, Kniss, 66, and Brubaker, 80 went back to work part time. They, like many other senior citizens in their group exercise program at the Sunbury Chapter of the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA, are staying active and bucking the perception of what it means to be “old” compared to decades ago.
“In some cases, we need to go back to work,” Kniss, of Port Trevorton said. “In other cases, we’re raising the next generation of kids. There’s more activities available now than when my mother was a senior.”
A Gallup Poll in 2014 showed that working Americans expected to retire at age 66, up from 63 in 2002. The average retirement age has hovered around 60 for the past decade.
The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis estimates that Pennsylvania had 1.9 seniors over the age of 65 in 2011 with 283,418 employed, 22,596 unemployed and 1,676,133 not in the labor force. Comparatively, the center estimates that Pennsylvania, in 2016, had 2.2 million seniors over the age of 65 with 369,031 employed, 12,259 unemployed and 1,840,471 not in the labor force.
This data is from the 2011 and 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). CWIA does not track average retirement age, according to Lindsay Bracale, a spokesperson for the state Department of Labor and Industry.