The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a bit of a stir when it comes to retirement.
Many folks in America are finding that retirement is now on their doorstep. The ravages of the virus continue to plague us daily, but the after-effects are going to be around for a long time to come.
The idea of going back to work at all, after lounging about in comfortable gym gear for a year, is enough to shelve the idea of working through to 70. Life is short, and maybe a round of golf is preferable to putting on a suit and tie and commuting through traffic to an office every day of the week. However, for others, enforced retirement due to downsizing and layoffs or even companies closing down for good is not such a pleasant outlook either.
Experts now say that an estimated 4 million older workers in America will have left the workforce by October 2020. Some professions have been harder hit than others when it comes to people being forced into retirement. 28 percent of teachers feel they are more likely to retire early or change professions after the Pandemic. Health workers have also been struck with layoffs in certain sectors of the industry as elective procedures and non-emergency doctor and dentist visits getting postponed indefinitely over the last year.
The vast majority of Americans have under $1,000 saved for retirement and half of all Americans have nothing at all put away. 34 percent have zero savings of any kind, not just for retirement. The median for U.S. families is just $5,000, and the median for families with some savings is $60,000.
Women have been disproportionately affected by the Pandemic. 275,000 women left the workforce in January 2021. Compare that with just 71,000 men. Overall, nearly 2.4 million women have exited the workforce since last February, compared with less than 1.8 million men. The pandemic has also forced many women to choose between caring for their children who are now stuck at home as childcare options disappeared and home and virtual schooling became the norm. Taking an earlier retirement than originally planned for is scary as it will affect retirement savings, unfortunately, many are finding it’s their only choice.
2021 is already proving to be a volatile year. Planning for the future is the only way to make sure you have any security long term. Saving may seem tough at times but it’s the only way to safeguard your lifestyle as time goes by.
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