As a result of the pandemic, more than 3.1 million Americans over the age of 55 are planning to retire earlier than previously projected, and in fact are already beginning to apply for Social Security.
On another hand, there are some 1.4 million Americans in this same age demographic considering extending their careers, due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. The net of early retirements now stands at 1.7 million people, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
The increasing number of retirements likely means more positions will be available for younger Americans.
Older workers, specifically baby boomers, account for nearly 17 million of the jobs that have been created in the U.S. since 2000.
Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics at the New School for Social Research, says a good economy keeps older Americans working, so they can claim Social Security benefits later, but a bad economy pushes more towards applying for Social Security.
“Claiming early means a lifetime permanent cut in monthly benefits for you and your spouse and survivors,” she said.
It just so happens that metro areas are also seeing higher numbers of people expecting to apply early for Social Security, with New York City having the most, with 300,000 people looking to cash in their retirement chips early, according to the Census.
“In this bad economy caused by a disease that hit older New Yorkers hard, I’m not surprised older people are paying a high financial cost to leave the workforce and claim Social Security early,” said Ghilarducci.
With a vaccine-driven reopening, coupled with fiscal stimulus expected to boost job growth to its fastest this year since the late 1980s, job prospects could certainly brighten for older workers who haven’t yet called it quits.