- The proportion of people aged 55 and over who are retired has risen by two percentage points compared with before the pandemic.
- Nearly half of Americans (49.9%) expect to retire before they turn 62.
- There are multiple reasons for this shift to earlier retirement. See below.
Reason’s to Retire
- One reason for it is that some Americans, particularly the well off are choosing to take it easy- due to the roaring stock market and soaring house prices.
- For others, falling life expectancy— which decreased by 1.9 years between 2018 and 2020—may have inspired some Americans to make the most of their golden years.
- Older workers may also be especially nervous about returning to offices, given that they face a higher risk of dying from covid-19 than their younger colleagues.
- Covid pandemic has caused boomers to re-evaluate their priorities and what they want out of life.
Personal quotes from actual retirees.
- “I’ve seen so many people who have decided to wait too long to retire — many of my colleagues or older family members — and they get one year of retirement and get sick and pass on,” she said. “I don’t want that.”
- “Between 60-70 is when I want to travel. After 70, who knows if I’ll be able to.”
- “Covid made me realize life is too short. I don’t need to work to buy a new car or new clothes. I rather spend the time hiking or in nature.”
Concerns from Retirees
- Concern that some or all of that wealth could evaporate has especially weighed on entrepreneurs who’ve been through the 2008 Great Recession.
- Paying for healthcare is another big concern.
- Running out of money continues to worry retirees given available returns today in the bond market and a big downside risk for the stock market.