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REPORT after report has made abundantly clear that job growth is weak, but there’s one wide swath of the population where employment growth is going gangbusters: older Americans.

A record 7.2 million Americans age 65 and older are working double the number 15 years ago partly because many older Americans love to work and partly because many feel too financially squeezed to retire.

With the value of many 401(k)’s and homes taking a beating during the recession and with energy and health care prices climbing, many who dreamed that retirement was just around the corner have reluctantly kicked their retirement plans down the road.

While the overall number of Americans working has fallen by 4.4 million since the Great Recession began four and a half years ago with many dropping out of the work force in frustration and some retiring early the number of Americans 65 and older who are working has jumped by 1.4 million, a whopping 25 percent increase. Some work as doctors, some in retail, and some, with an entrepreneurial bent, start businesses in their 60s.

In a survey done last year, the Society of Actuaries found that 55 percent of older Americans who continued working said they had done so to stay active and involved, while 51 percent said they had done so for additional income.

“One obvious reason people are working later is money,” said Steven A. Sass, program director at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. “There’s a concern about what they have in their 401(k) and about Social Security.”

He said baby boomers were getting less than their parents did from Social Security because of the increase in the full retirement age people cannot obtain full Social Security benefits until age 66, and for those born after 1957, the age will be 67. “Not only are they getting less from Social Security,” Mr. Sass said, “but many don’t have a pension that gives them a steady income after they retire.”

These factors help explain why 18.5 percent of Americans 65 and older remain in the labor force, up from 12.1 percent in 1995. Many have stayed in the work force past 60 because older Americans seem to be paying an ever larger share of their incomes toward medical expenses and because many corporations have stopped providing health coverage to retirees, forcing many to work until Medicare is available at 65.

“Maybe people have recovered from the stock market plunge,” said Sara E. Rix, a senior policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute. “But many people are still anxious about what may happen to the market, and that has caused many to delay retirement.”

Here are the stories of five Americans working well past age 65.

Patricia Cotton, 72

Home Care Aide

At age 72, Patricia Cotton toils 60 hours a week as a home care aide. Monday through Friday, she drives the 45 minutes from her home in Hyattsville, Md., to Washington to care for a 98 year old with heart disease and other problems.

“It’s hard because I have a lot of lifting to do,” said Ms. Cotton, who often bathes, turns over and changes her patient. “But I have no choice. I had hoped to retire at age 65. I was looking forward to it. But then I lost my money.”

Ms. Cotton, an immigrant from Trinidad,
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says she had faithfully put money every few weeks into her Individual Retirement Account, entrusting it to a broker.

“I lost about $150,000,” she said. “I’d been putting money into it the last 25 or 30 years. My broker had me in high risk investments. I didn’t pay much attention. lost half of its value money that had been intended to supplement her $1,200 a month Social Security check to enable her to retire at age 65.

“I thought he was going to do something better for me,” Ms. Cotton said. She was disappointed to discover that she had to pay almost half of that in tax and penalties.

“That left me all the way down,” she said. “When I lost my money, there was nothing else I could have done. I had to keep going.”

Ms. Cotton, a proud, divorced woman who has four children and seven grandchildren, lives on the second floor of a house that she fully paid off over 25 years. A daughter lives on the first floor, but Ms. Cotton refuses to take any money from her children.

“When you do something for so long, you get used to it,” she said. “But with that patient, you have to watch him constantly.”

She receives her monthly Social Security check and puts it in a safe money market account that will be her retirement nest egg.

But when will she retire? “I have to continue for a little while,” she said. “I just hope my health keeps up. So far it’s going pretty good.”

Dr. Rafael Garza, 87Dr. Rafael Garza vividly remembers the day he received his medical degree 62 years ago it was April 17, 1950, in Monterrey, Mexico. Today, at age 87, he is still going strong, having moved from the often joyous but frequently grueling practice of family medicine to focusing on wound care.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he does his rounds at Mission Regional Medical Center in Mission, Tex., in the Rio Grande Valley, treating bedsores, protecting burn victims from infections and helping diabetics who have had amputations.

“It seems that I always wanted to be a physician,” Dr. Garza said. “And now that I am a physician, I still enjoy practicing medicine.”
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Politica y Sociedad Espacio dedicado a la informaci n y discusi n de todo lo relacionado con nuestro pa s, departamento y ciudad, pero tambi n de todo aquello que ocurre en el mundo. Noticias, fen menos sociales y datos hist ricos tienen su sitio aqu . Todas las opiniones se aceptan siempre y cuando se hagan respetando a los dem s y sin insultos. . 09 de Febrero del 2013

V ctima recuerda la ‘Operaci n G nesis’, por la que Colombia podr a ser condenada ma ana en la CIDH.

El sol resplandec a en el caser o de Bijao, en el municipio de R o Sucio (Choc ), ese fatal 25 de febrero de 1997. Las mujeres lavaban ropa a la orilla del r o Cacarica y los ni os jugaban con botellas pl sticas dentro del agua cuando, a la 1:10 de la tarde, se escuch el primer disparo y todos salieron corriendo.

La historia la cuenta Bernardo, que prefiere no mencionar sus apellidos, porque teme que le nieguen la visa: espera viajar hoy a Costa Rica para atestiguar este lunes, en nombre de las v ctimas, en el proceso Marino L pez y otros Operaci n G nesis, por el que Colombia podr a ser condenada en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. (Lea: Ante Corte Interamericana, Estado negar alianza Auc Ej rcito en Urab ).

Dos d as despu s, yo estaba amarrado a un rbol, de espalda, con los brazos hacia atr s. Enfrente m o descuartizaron a Marino y luego presenci c mo jugaban f tbol con su cabeza . As recuerda Bernardo la escena m s atroz del delito de lesa humanidad que juzga ese alto tribunal.

En la memoria del campesino est grabada con fuego la incursi n de militares y paramilitares realizada entre el 24 y el 27 de febrero de 1997, en la cuenca del r o Cacarica, conocida como Operaci n G nesis y por la que ya fue condenado a 26 a os de c rcel el general en retiro del Ej rcito Rito Alejo del R o. (Lea: ‘General (r.) Del R o se uni y protegi a las AUC en el Urab ‘: juez).

Bernardo, que lleg a Bogot el jueves, procedente de una zona humanitaria en Cacarica, tiene miedo, pero est dispuesto a superarlo con tal de contarle al mundo lo que vio. Su temor no es infundado: en la zona donde vive, junto con buena parte de los 4.000 desplazados que dej el ataque, han sido asesinadas 99 personas y se han reportado nuevas amenazas y presencia de hombres armados en los ltimos d as.

Esp rate sigo con la historia dice con un marcado acento monteriano . El caser o estaba medio deshabitado, porque mucha gente se hab a marchado por el anuncio, un d a antes, de que llegaban los paras . (reitera) y la mayor a de gente logr salir corriendo para el monte. Lanzaban granadas contra los techos de las casas y contra las puertas, y el miedo a las balas nos hizo devolver a los que est bamos corriendo. R pido acordonaron el caser o y cuando la plomera termin , nos obligaron a irnos a la escuela,
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para una reuni n; mientras unos estaban all , otros saqueaban el pueblo. El r o se llen de televisores, m quinas de coser y enseres que tiraban los paramilitares. Lo que no se robaban lo destru an, mientras gritaban frases contra la guerrilla. Yo estaba confundido porque, aunque todos ten an insignias de las Auc, a algunos se les corr a y se pod a leer Infanter a de Marina, Brigada 17. Esa incursi n tom una hora y media y la comand en Bijao un para que se hac a llamar Richard .

Despu s del horror, Bernardo se refugi , junto con 700 familias, en el coliseo de R o Sucio (otros se fueron para Turbo), donde vivi tres a os.

Aunque era com n ver en el pueblo a algunos paras , no hab a vuelto a ver a Richard. Pero un d a cualquiera, jugando domin cerca del coliseo, con Asprilla un soldado de la Brigada del que me hab a hecho amigo , lo veo venir. Yo iba a salir corriendo, sin decirle una palabra, y cuando me iba a parar Asprilla me mir y me dijo: No te muevas, que no te va a pasar nada . Richard lleg , le dio la mano a Asprilla, se sent , se comi un pescado y se fue .

Cuando se fue, le pregunt : C mo? T conoces a este tipo? Ese fue el que me amarr y el que mat a Marino , y el soldado me respondi : Si ser s bobo. Recuerdas el primer disparo en Bijao? Lo hice yo, para avisarles. Agrad zcanme, porque si no habr an matado unos 40 o 50 ese d a . Luego me cont que en el pueblo viv a una t a suya y que por eso lanz el aviso .

Colombia dice que en Urab no hubo alianzas con las Auc

La defensa de Colombia argumentar que G nesis fue una acci n leg tima y que en Urab el Ej rcito no tuvo alianzas con paramilitares. Igualmente, enfatizar en que la condena contra el general Rito Alejo del R o fue apelada y est pendiente de un juez de segunda instancia, por lo que a n no hay verdad definitiva . Este lunes, el Estado cuestionar las versiones de exparas , que considera, no han sido comprobadas.
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