Many laborers in the nation work long 12 hour days or more doing a job that requires constant repetitive motion. A regular workday means they can be performing the same tasks thousands of times, leading to significant wear and tear on the knees, hips, back, shoulders, and hands.
For some, making it to age 66 to qualify for full Social Security benefits is already a lot to ask but now, according to the New York Times, the White House is considering making changes to up the age of retirement even further leaving many laborers wondering how they make it that long. There is a call for the age raise to 70 years old within the next 20 yeas as a way to keep Social security working for Americans.
Today’s hard laborers are now worried they will be forgotten. They are greatly concerned about their abilities to continue performing their physically demanding tasks day after day until the age of 70 when full benefits can be awarded. Construction workers, plumbers, maintenance workers, and the hard laborers of tomorrow are facing a long road ahead of them if the changes come to fruition.
Concern is also raised among lower-income families and minorities should the age chance occur because of the shorter life expectancy of these groups. Many fear they will never even see the age of retirement and will be forced to work longer just to make ends meet.
Additionally the incidents of on the job injuries and worker’s compensation claims in physically demanding jobs will not allow workers to continue on working into their 70’s. In a survey from 2002, 29% of 55-60 year old workers said they are already saddled with chronic pain, with 46% already reporting arthritis.
For those working less physically demanding jobs, the change in retirement age may not be as big of a deal as it is for the hard laborers who not only put their life on the line to get the job done, they also have to work through the chronic aches and pains caused by their jobs for a much longer period of time when the changes to Social Security come.