Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

Date of this Version



This chapter uses the Health and Retirement Study to describe the relationship between work and health for older persons by age. We examine not only the patterns within a given cross-section, but also we study trends in health at ages 51-56 between 1992 and 2004. Most retirement occurs well before the onset of work-limiting disability, leaving a large reserve of potential for longer worklives. Baby Boomers will likely have to draw on this reserve, yet its health is not demonstrably better than that of persons born a dozen years earlier. Nevertheless, advances in medical care for health conditions that most 51-56 year olds have not yet encountered may still yield better health at older ages for the Boomer cohort.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2007 publication: Redefining Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare?.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2006 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


The author acknowledges research support from the HRS and the National Institute on Aging (U01 AG009740).

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 August 2019