Born in 1938 toward the end of the Great Depression, Beard was one of 10 children.
The great grandmother has two children of her on and worked in sales most of her career. But with no 401K retirement savings account, she now works part-time five days a week at Kroger’s Supermarket.
While Beard enjoys the socializing, she also needs the income.
Her colleagues are 78-year-old Marion Gilham and 72-year-old former civil engineer John Huggins, who last year lost a leg to diabetes.
“Well, I retired once already,” Huggins said. “I just can’t sit around.”
As life expectancy grows and retirement savings shrink, more seniors are having to work. In the United States, 20 percent of the people over age 65 are now back in the workforce.
That’s the highest rate in 55 years.
“They have a great work ethic. We love having them here,” assistant store manager Jay McKinney said of his older employees. “They do everything we ask them to do without question. They are never late and they never call out.”
President Donald Trump said this is the biggest economy in the history of America and the best time ever to look for a job.
These seniors disagree and say his $1.5 trillion tax cut did not trickle down to them.
“Social security has a limit on how much money they can make,” McKinney explained. “So, what we are willing to do is to work with them on that so we make sure they don’t go over the hours.”
Some of the richest people in the country choose to work.
President Trump is 72. The oldest supreme court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is 85. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is 87.
But unlike those at the top of their fields, most working seniors don’t have the savings to retire.
More than a third of older Americans have no retirement savings. And if you are earning a minimum wage, it is nearly impossible to save.
“Hence, all the people who are in their 60s, 70s or 80s who are continuing to work in Walmart or a local shop. We’re not seeing pay raises go up and the inflation is really eating up whatever pay raises people are getting,” said Ilyce Glink, CEO of Best Money Moves.