As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy, more Americans are calling it quits.
Antonio Fernandez, 64, had planned to stay at Chevron in Houston for another five years when the coronavirus pandemic struck.
“I probably had at least another five years to work,” Fernandez said of his time with the oil company. “I was not looking forward to retirement.”
The epidemic, like so many other things, is rewriting the rules for when to retire in the United States.
In the pre-pandemic era of the world’s largest economy, retiring older was a distinct trend, sometimes out of choice, but more often out of need.
Some people have chosen to work until they are 70 years old in order to keep their benefits in a country where healthcare expenditures are infamously high. In other circumstances, people were obliged to continue working after the 2008 financial crisis wiped out their savings.
However, millions of people over the age of 65 have left the employment since the spring of 2020, often earlier than projected.
According to Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor and retirement specialist at the New School for Social Research in New York, more than 1.7 million older workers retired in June than predicted.
Fernandez applied for other jobs after being laid off last fall, but was unsuccessful.
“I have mixed feelings,” he told AFP, adding that the corporation primarily retained lower-paid employees, a departure from previous rounds of downsizing.
“In the end, even if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not a horrible outcome for people like myself who were fortunate enough to have enough years of service and be close to retirement to receive a lump sum pension bolstered by low interest rates.”
Brenda Bates found it tough to leave early.
Her employment got much more difficult during the pandemic, when she was obliged to wear a mask and goggles, after 43 years of work at a nursing facility in Florida.
Bates had a transient ischemic attack, which is a stroke-like event with long-term consequences. Bates and her husband discussed possibilities after struggling for breath during a swim.
“We decided to do it for my health,” Bates explained.
She told AFP, “Before the pandemic, I assumed I would work at least until I was 65 to qualify for Medicare.” “Because I enjoy my profession, I anticipated to stay as long as I wanted.”
Bates is far from the only one who has left earlier than expected.
Whether it’s fear of an unsafe workplace or the loss of a job as a result of the economic downturn,. Brief News from Washington Newsday.