Delaying retirement – or continuing to be employed in retirement – is a new dynamic for many aging Americans.
“Some 82 percent of workers 50 and older say it is at least somewhat likely they will work for pay in retirement,” reported the Associated Press. “And 47 percent of them now expect to retire later than they previously thought – on average nearly three years beyond their estimate when they were 40.”

The AP story was based on a survey taken in August and September.

Robert Parham, executive editor of, tweeted a link to the story and wondered, “How does this impact the church?”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on volunteering in 2012 found that many Americans offer volunteer services:

â—     24.4 percent of those 65 years old and older volunteer

â—     27.6 percent of those 55 to 64 years old engage in volunteer activities

â—     29.3 percent of those 45 to 54 year olds volunteer

Older volunteers were more likely to volunteer 500 or more hours annually and to volunteer with religious organizations.

Those 65 years or older had the highest percentage of volunteers in the following categories:

â—     Usher, greeter or minister

â—     Food collection, preparation or serving

â—     Distribution of clothing, crafts or goods other than food

â—     General office services

Earlier this year in an editorial, Parham wrote about older adults who are active in social ministries in the local church and larger community.

Retirement changes could well alter the role religious Americans contribute to houses of faith and faith-based organizations.

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