As long as Usedcarsalesman can remember, college-degreed adults in the U.S. have begun working at a specific point in time - namely their early 20s, or a few years later given any need for additional schooling. And, the age of 65 seemed to mark the end of the work-lives of those adults - 'Used' recollects numerous seniors who, at age 65, cashed out of retirement plans, left the workforce and began golfing and fishing like it was going out of style :).
Perhaps due to better health-care, diet and exercise regiments and other reasons, many Baby Boomers seem likely to buck the longstanding practice of ending there work-lives, at least entirely, at age 65. Some Boomers, in fact, seem inclined to work as long as they are able to in there current field, or otherwise embrace work in new fields that may be more amenable to advancing age or work in web-related businesses. As such, it appears that the U.S. workforce in 2020 may well be composed of a good number of 75-80 year old Baby Boomers who work, not just because they need money, but simply because they can still effectively do so.
Boomers might also keep working because it challenges ages of convention and shows how they have triumphed over socially imposed limits on there human potential. Some people might say that educated Boomers benefiting from better health care, etc. might serve as reason to allow the retirement age to be raise from 65 to 75 or 85, something like that; but, they might add, "Boomers would still 'retire,' just later on in there lives." This could very well be true. Perhaps Usedcarsalesman overestimates the number of Boomers who will attempt to work to the end of there lives for reasons of intellectual stimulation and continued engagement with the world of business and government. However, Used insists that, whether due to health care or work-from-home Internet technology, more working 80 year old will contribute to our economy in coming years versus any time in the past.
But, here's where Usedcarsalesman sees a potential, as-yet-unnoticed flip-side to Boomers disregarding the traditional 65-year-old retirement age: What if smart, young kids under 18, seeing all of these Boomer seniors disregarding the retirement cut-off, begin to chafe at socially (or legally) imposed age-entry barriers to work themselves? One of them, for example, might think, "if Grandma Webster has blown past 65, "retirement" age, and still works as an investment banker at 90, why can't I -- if I can demonstrate that I am capable -- do white-collar adult work that I am capable of doing even in my early teens?
Fellow bloggers might ask, what kid of work? Usedcarsalesman would say, "anything one could successfully test and train for on-line. Or, any business one could incorporate (likely in an adult's name) or operate as a sole proprietorship (again, likely registered in an adult's name)." Basically, the whole spectrum of white collar work - management, design, accounting/finance, legal or medical practice for the particularly committed and inclined to pass state-licensing exams,advertising, public relations, management consulting, technical service, publishing, news-reporting, media production, counseling. Heck, it might even displace traditional high-school-to-college-to-grad-school education for some youth. Furthermore, just as seniors who continue to capably work might offer the world the benefit of there vast experience, youth who work in white collar fields might offer breathtakingly original or creative solutions to problems.
Usdcarsalesman thinks that this strange new world of direct and indirect youth participation in the traditionally adult white-collar work force has already begun and will increase over the next 20-30 years and beyond (running in parallel with Baby Boomers who continue to work during traditional retirement years).
Note: Usedcarsalesman has often read that some of the success of Allied efforts during World War II apparently had to do with the fact that the Allies fully employed the adult population of U.S. men & women in the fight - whether at war or, state-side, in jobs that supported the war effort. The Axis Powers tended not to make full use of there populations in the war effort - the Axis lost. Since the above post is on the subject of seniors and youth in the white collar work force, one might ask, "will there be an instance in the 21st century information age, say in a war or otherwise, in which societies that make full use of there populations - say, seniors and youth - in a military conflict or in business, triumph over societies that do not?"