Senior Living

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McKinley, Whittier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan The Grand Island Independent THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2019 6A senior LIVING By Andrew Soergel For The Associated Press CHICAGO—Seniors in major metropolitan areas, especially in the Northeast and around Washington, D.C., aremore likely to con- tinue working past age 65 than those in other areas around the country, accord- ing to an analysis of Cen- sus data by The Associated Press-NORCCenter for Pub- lic Affairs Research. “Those are the areas where all of the jobs are, re- ally,” says Anqi Chen, assis- tant director for savings re- search at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Re- search. “The coastal areas recovered well from the re- cession, while other areas have not.” But it’s also the types of jobs in those areas — gov- ernment, finance, law and academia — that keep se- niors working longer, ana- lysts say. Older workers can be a boon to regional economies, increasing tax revenues, stimulating growth with more consumer spending andprovidingadditional tal- ent and expertise at a time of lowunemployment, says Paul Irving, chairman of theMilken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. Among counties with at least 6,000 residents, about 12% have at least 21% of their seniors working or ac- tively looking for jobs, ac- cording to ananalysis of the Census’ 2017AmericanCom- munity Survey report. Of that group, nearly 25% are located within the North- east or in Maryland or Vir- ginia. And nearly 15% are within70milesof NewYork, Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. “I consider myself to be a very fortunate person to still do what I loved at 27 at 74,” says Steve Burghardt, a professor of social work at the City University of NewYork. “I feel advantaged being in New York, where you’re exposed to sights and sounds and differences that are always exposing me to newways tounderstandmy- self and to learn fromother people.” Two Washington sub- urbs, FallsChurch,Virginia, and Alexandria, Virginia, are among the nation’s lead- ers in terms of senior labor force participation, with rates of nearly 37% and nearly 30%, respectively. This area is alsohome toone of the fastest growing se- nior labor forces in the coun- try — three of the 11 coun- ties that saw senior participationrates climb the fastest between2009and2017 are located within 70 miles of Washington. But large, populouscoun- ties don’t have a monopoly on senior participation in the labor force. Vermont, oneof the least populous states, holds two countiesthatrankamongthe top100 (WindhamandWash- ington counties) and eight among the top 329 in terms of senior participation. “Despite whatever mis- nomers might exist, there is a great demand out there for mature workers,” says MaryBranagan, director of programandpartner affairs at Associates for Training and Development, a work- force training and develop- ment outfit headquartered in Vermont. Branagan helps oversee the state’s Senior Commu- nity Service Employment program, which matches qualifyingunemployed state residents at least 55 years of agewithpaid internships that can help them update their skills and remain in the workplace longer. She says her company’s offices in Washington and Wind- hamcounties are among its largest statewide. In other areas of the country, Colorado has six of the top 50 counties both in terms of senior labor force participation in 2017 and participation growth be- tween 2009 and 2017. Andrural countiesheavy inagricultural employment, especially in Kansas, Ne- braska and Iowa, boast a considerable senior labor participation rate. Though the jobs are often labor in- tensive, agricultural profes- sions maintain some of the highest median ages in the country, according to Bu- reau of Labor Statistics data. That’s due in part to much of U.S. agriculture be- ing concentrated in family farms, the Department of Agriculture says. People can continue living and work- ing on these operationswell into their“retirement”years by scaling things down and renting land to other farmers. At the other end of the spectrum, senior labor force participation in 2017 was less than 12%in nearly 14% of counties with at least 6,000 residents. Kentucky, Michigan, Georgia, Ala- bama, Florida andWest Vir- ginia collectively accounted for more than 50%of those bottom-ranking counties in terms of senior labor participation. Senior participationcon- tracted inmore than 24%of counties between 2009 and 2017. Nearly 33% of those counties are located inGeor- gia, Texas, Missouri, Ken- tucky or North Carolina. Experts say it’s these lower-ranking counties that are missing out on the po- tential benefits of a stron- ger senior labor force. These areas also stand to benefit most from targeted skills training investments and other initiatives that would spur seniors off the sidelines. “It’sgoodforGDPgrowth overall and it’s generally just good for the health of the overall economy,” says An- drew Chamberlain, chief economist at employment hub Glassdoor, referring to senior participation in the workforce. Chen notesmanufactur- ing-heavy areas within the Rust Belt and in states in- cluding Alabama and Geor- gia are among those with the lowest senior labor par- ticipation. Manufacturing payrolls have plummeted over recent decades amid automation and globaliza- tion challenges. Labor-in- tensive jobs that are prom- inent in those areas often preclude folks from work- ing later into life, and the types of white collar jobs that are more prevalent in larger cities are in shorter supply. “It’s partly just howgrim the job prospects are in a lot of micropolitan, or small city and rural, areas,” says Gary Burtless, a senior fel- low at the Brookings Insti- tution. “A lot of them are one-industry towns. And if that industry has been hit hard, that’s going to be a problem for younger work- ers and older workers.” Burtless notes elderly la- bor forceparticipation tends to be higher in urban areas where olderworkers are bet- ter educated, better compen- sated and less reliant on la- bor-intensive blue collar industries. “The thinking as to why highly educated people tend to work longer is that they may enjoy better health. Theymayenjoybetterwork- ing conditions,” says Jen Schramm, a strategic policy adviser for the AARP Pub- lic Policy Institute. “They are likely to be paid more, so that’s more of an incen- tive to keep working.” Andrew Soergel is studying aging and workforce issues as part of a 10-month fellowship at The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which joins NORC’s independent research and AP journalism. The fellowship is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Seniors more likely to work longer in big metropolitan areas LEFT: In this April 16 photo, Steve Burghardt, a professor of social work at the City University of New York, teaches one of his classes at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work. Seniors in major metropol- itan areas, especially in big Northeastern cities and around Washington, D.C., are more likely to continue working past 65 than those in other areas around the country, according to an analysis of Census cata by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The Associated Press/Mary Altaffer BELOW: This map, courtesy of the Census Bureau, shows the change in percentage of people working over 65 between 2009 and 2017. The Associated Press Social Security self-employment taxes paid directly to IRS By Joel Aas Social Security Administration Many people enjoy the independenceof owningand operating their own small business. If you’re a small business owner, you know that you have additional fi- nancial responsibilities when reporting your taxes. Apart of this is paying into Social Security. Most peoplewhopay into Social Security work for an employer. Their employer deductsSocial Securitytaxes from their paycheck, adds a matching contribution, then sends those taxes to the In- ternalRevenueService (IRS) and reports thewages to So- cial Security. Self-employed people must do all these ac- tions and pay their taxes di- rectly to the IRS. You’re self-employed if you operate a trade, busi- ness or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. You report your earnings for So- cial Security when you file your federal income tax re- turn. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, youmust report your earn- ings on Schedule SE, in ad- dition to the other tax forms you must file. In 2019, if your net earn- ings are $5,440 or more, you earn the yearly maximum of four credits—one credit for each $1,360 of earnings during the year. If your net earningsare less than$5,440, you still may earn credit by using an optional method described below. We use all your earnings covered by Social Security to figure your Social Secu- rity benefit, so, report all earnings up to the maxi- mum, as required by law.