Those in their golden years who have the financial wherewithal (and desire) to retire early while also delaying when they receive their Social Security benefits are in for a particularly pleasant surprise these days,
thanks to a combination of stimulus payments, rising home values, and stock-market gains that were unprecedented during the Pandemic of 2008-09.
A recent Washington Post review of government statistics discovered that the COVID-19 economy has provided “among of the strongest incentives to retire in modern history,” according to the newspaper.
At the same time, many people approaching retirement are delaying the claim of their Social Security benefits in order to receive larger monthly amounts.
According to a Washington Post examination of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the number of workers who applied for Social Security benefits during the 12-month period ending in September decreased by 5 percent compared to the same period the previous year,
according to the newspaper. According to the Social Security Administration, this was the largest decline in nearly two decades.
Retirements among employees aged 65 to 69 increased by 5 percent year on year during the same time period, according to the Labor Department.
As a result of the pandemic, the number of retirees in the United States increased by around 3 million, which is approximately twice as much as would have been projected before the outbreak.
The trend, according to many experts, is being driven by three distinct forces: the generous federal stimulus package and unemployment insurance payments; larger retirement funds as a result of stock market gains and rising home values;
and COVID-related restrictions, which have forced seniors to apply for Social Security benefits online rather than in field offices.
“We often observe higher reliance on Social Security benefits during economic downturns, and we anticipated that this would be the case with the pandemic,
” Lauren Hersch Nicholas, an economist at the University of Colorado at Denver, told the Washington Post. “However, the claiming numbers simply do not support this.”
Another factor contributing to the increase in retirements, particularly among women, is the nature of the COVID-19 epidemic itself, which has exacerbated both economic and health insecurity in recent years.
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Health problems are unique to this recession and maybe play a role, especially because workers over the age of 65 are less likely than younger people to be able to telework, according to Courtney Coile, an economist at Wellesley College, who spoke to the Washington Post about the issue.
Although retiring early may be a possibility for Americans with large savings accounts, doing so is not as simple for others who are still struggling to make ends meet.
According to a previous report by GOBankingRates, only 36 percent of non-retired Americans believe their retirement savings are on track to meet their post-retirement financial needs,
and approximately one-third of those who had planned to retire say they will now do so later as a result of the pandemic, according to the report.