“If I could have left at 62, I would have left at 62, but I can’t,” she said. “We haven’t all made that money where I could move to Florida and get a $400,000 house.”
The fastest inflation in decades has added to the pressure on people of all ages to return to work. More recently, the same has been true for the financial market turmoil, which has cut into retirement savings.
But even some people who could retire are choosing to return to work as the pandemic wanes.
When the Long Island fitness studio where she worked as a spinning instructor closed at the start of the pandemic, Jackie Anscher lost both a job and part of her identity. In an interview with The New York Times that summer, she described what at the time seemed like an abrupt end to her career as “forced retirement”.
But after spending the start of the pandemic reorganizing her life and reassessing her priorities, Ms Anscher, 60, has returned to giving spin classes as a substitute instructor at a local gym, and she is seeking a bigger gig. regular. Her husband is already retired — “he was waiting for me to go fishing,” she says — and the couple could afford her to stop working. But she’s not ready to hang up her cycling shoes.
“I loved what I had. I loved who I was in front of the room,” she said. “It’s about my sanity. For me, it’s about me. preserve.
Older workers were no more likely than younger workers to leave the labor force at the start of the pandemic. But economists had reason to believe they might be slower to return. Unemployed workers in their 50s and 60s generally have a harder time finding jobs than their younger counterparts, due to ageism and other factors. And unlike the 2008-2009 recession, when depressed house prices and high debt levels left many people with no choice but to keep working, in this crisis house and financial asset prices continued increase, providing a financial cushion for some people close to retirement. age.
The share of Americans who say they are retired rose sharply in the spring of 2020. But retirement is not an irreversible decision. And research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City found that at the start of the pandemic, there was a sharp drop in the number of people leaving retirement to return to work, attributable at least in part to fear of the virus and the lack of job opportunities. , swelling the ranks of retirees.