Pandemic-related job losses forced many older Americans out of the workplace i n the past year, perhaps permanently. But the COVID-19 crisis also seems to have delayed some retirements.
Remote work eliminated commutes and often allowed more flexible schedules with fewer interruptions. At the same time, the pandemic restricted many traditional retirement activities, including travel and visits with family. While some employed older workers look forward to retiring when restrictions ease, others say teleworking has made staying on the job more tenable.
Tax accountant Larry B. Harris of Asheville, North Carolina, found a lot to like about working from home, including more flexibility and less time in his car.
“I’d never worked from home except in a snowstorm. I found that I loved it,” says Harris, 67. “I think it will keep me working longer.”
UNEVEN RECOVERY, UNEVEN RETIREMENT IMPACT
Economists talk about a K-shaped recovery, where a portion of the nation’s industries and population bounce back quickly from recession while others stagnate or continue to sink. Something similar may be happening with baby boomer retirements, as better-off workers gain more options while those with fewer choices lose ground.