The 10 professions with the most workers age 66 or older

Rae Ferguson, 71, an associate professor of African-American history at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., Feb. 21, 2017. Around 19 percent of Americans 65 and older are still working, a number only expected to go up. Experience and education have a lot to do with it. (Ryan Conaty/The New York Times)

Today’s financial experts tell upcoming retirees they will need about 70 to 80 percent of their pre-retirement income to be ready for full retirement. The money, they said, should come from a combination of social security, retirement savings and other income.

The pronouncement has Americans of all ages scrambling to hit the magic $1 million mark before retirement age, and many of them are falling short. One way to fill the gap is by working longer. According to data from a recent Gallup Poll, in 2014, 39 percent of Americans age 66 and older were working full-time or looking for a full-time position. That number is closer to 19 percent in 2017, but is expected to go up.

For many workers, the age at which they retire varies depending on their profession.

In a recent survey of census data, Time Inc. offered up the top 50 professions which have the most employees over age 65.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Tax Preparers 14.2%
  2. Clergy 13.6%
  3. Farmers, Ranchers and other Agricultural managers  12.7%
  4. Bus and Ambulance Drivers and Attendants 12.6%
  5. Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents 11.7%
  6. Psychologists 11.7%
  7. Barbers 11.3%
  8. Musicians, Singers and related workers 10.9%
  9. Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs 10%
  10. Dentists 9.7%

Doctors, lawyers, writers, retail workers, entertainers, engineers, hair stylists and others also make the list of the top 50, though with smaller percentages of workers 66 and over. Pharmacists come in at number 50 with 4.3%.

The study used five years of microdata from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to measure the occupations for those who were still in the labor force. While some people leave a profession for reasons other than retirement, measuring the percentage of the workforce over age 65 was considered the most accurate barometer of retirement.

With so many professions represented, it seems that working longer is an option for almost anyone who isn’t quite ready to retire.

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