The Changing Causes and Consequences of Not Working before Age 62
Nadia Karamcheva, Urban Institute
Barbara A. Butrica, Urban Institute
This study considers nonworking older adults and their channels of support before qualifying for Social Security benefits. Using 18 years of data from the Health and Retirement Study, we analyze nonearners’ characteristics, including demographics, health status, and lifetime labor force attachment, along with the levels and sources of their income and assets. We explore the effects of various factors on the likelihood of being a nonearner and observe the consequences of not working during one’s 50s with regard to poverty, age of Social Security claiming, and overall retirement satisfaction. Finally, we analyze how these relationships have changed over time, particularly after the Great Recession.