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This new survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute will come as a surprise to the Very Serious old coots like Alan Simpson, whose cushy jobs and big speaking fees make them assume that everybody in America is happy to keep on working well into their 80s. Older Americans (those lucky enough to actually have jobs, anyway) are working longer in order to maintain their health insurance.

Graph showing response of survey respondents to questions about working longer to maintain health insurance.

A majority of 53 percent said that they planned to work longer than they would like in order to continue receiving health insurance through work. But that pales compared to the 76 percent who said they had to work longer than they wanted to in order to keep their health insurance. The Affordable Care Act could help change that, if older people will have more options to obtain health insurance before reaching Medicare age, but retirees picking up their own health care tab will likely see increasingly expensive benefits package when they don't have an employer paying a portion of their premiums.

Given all that, it's pretty obvious that "more than 60 percent of the population opposed raising the eligibility age for full benefits to 68 and offering a reduced level of benefits at age 62." Working forever isn't the American dream, it's a necessity.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:42 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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