Despite signs of a possible economic recovery, many older workers are saying that the recent recession has pushed them toward early retirement—oftentimes against their own wishes. Since the start of the recession, the number of unemployed workers between ages 55 and 64 has almost tripled, to a November high of 15.4 million. A pair of Wellesley economists have estimated that some 378,000 workers will be forced into retirement thanks to the difficult labor market, and nearly 50 percent will have to work longer due to hits to financial portfolios. The situation is particularly dire for those who need to draw on Social Security, since most people need to be 65 years old to get full benefits—and therefore the earlier workers begin to draw on Social Security, the less money they get for living expenses.
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