Ken Bueckers loved being a pipe fitter. It took him to the tops of tall buildings and to furnaces below. He yanked valves open and wrestled pipe into crawl spaces.
In a perfect world he would still be doing that. He’s 69, but he has a clear mind and 32 years of experience. He and his wife could use the extra income. “I would probably go out and do it if my body would let me,” he said.
At a time when financial necessity is forcing many Americans to work longer, some don’t have that option. Bueckers is one of millions of blue-collar workers who have grown too old for blue-collar work.
White-collar professionals like consultants, lawyers and accountants are often able to retire gradually, finding ways to keep earning money in fields where they have connections and skills. Almost t