When COVID-19 struck, we could never have imagined the changes that would take place over the next few months. The world as we know it has shifted into a new era, and we all have to figure out how to move into the future, whatever that may bring.
If you have been planning to retire, this could be a very stressful time. While it feels as though a giant rug has been pulled from under the country (and the world as a whole), we are beginning to see the shape of things to come.
Here are three ways retirement may change after these last few months:
Cruises may become a thing of the past
Cruising around the world on a luxury ship where all your needs are catered to and you enjoy entertainment under the stars may be a pipe dream for many from this year onward. Shares dropped drastically across the three major cruise lines after COVID-19 hit. Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruises all recently announced they’d canceled nearly 40 cruises and rerouted another 40. According to research by AARP, a full third of Boomers who planned international trips were, at least in part, staying on a cruise ship. 61 percent of those who chose a cruise said they did so because it was “hassle-free.” That ship seems to have sailed. Cunard also announced they have suspended all cruises until November. No matter what, the cruise industry is going to be hit hard, and island-hopping on a luxury liner could be a bucket list item that never gets checked off.
Job market shrinkage and forced retirement
Many of us are working longer and retiring later. As we move deeper into the aftermath of the virus, we are already seeing job loss on a massive scale. America had been riding the crest of a wave with unemployment dropping, but when the economy shut down, things took a quick turn for the worse. The United States decade’s worth of gains made in the labor market since the last recession were quickly erased in just three short months. If you are an older American and lose your job, it’s going to be harder than ever to bounce back, and you may enter retirement sooner than you would like. Studies show that  many employers are reluctant to hire or retain older workers. Older workers had long unemployment spells after a job displacement before COVID-19 caused havoc on the economy, and now it’ll be even worse. Only 10 percent of involuntarily separated workers ended up earning as much after their separation as before. They just never quite got their earning mojo back, and if you are saving for retirement or have a lifestyle that costs a certain amount every month, that could be devastating.
Now, more than ever, excellent healthcare is important. If you are retiring, you’ll want to get the best care you can. The fact that COVID-19 hit the older population harder than most puts healthcare in perspective. Having access to a good plan and care is essential to survive in the coming years.
The world has changed, and we have to adapt. In a few years, America will look back on 2020 and we will have the benefit of hindsight. Until then we all need to be as inventive and resilient as possible.
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