As the world continues to experience the increasing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, people from all walks of life are being challenged on varying levels.
In some cases, chances of recovery are still very much possible, but experts are pointing out that there might be a more lasting impact on one specific age group: baby boomers reaching or already in retirement.
People of this generation, who were born between 1944 to 1964, are said to be greatly affected by the pandemic. One of the reasons is because they are more susceptible to the virus due to weakened immune systems brought about by older age—even more so when there is already a pre-existing condition.
In China, those aged 80 and up that were diagnosed with COVID-19 suffered a death rate of 14.8%, while those aged 70 to 79 have a mortality rate of 8%. These figures are higher compared to the mortality rate among all age groups, which is at 2.3%.
The estimated 72 million American baby boomers who are still living are a diverse group. The majority of them are still working, and are planning to continue to do so for longer if the economy permits. On the other hand, a fifth of baby boomers in the U.S. are providing eldercare to a parent or a spouse either in person or remotely. Even though they are healthy, they can still be at risk and are still considered frontliners.
So far, the largest cluster of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. is in a nursing home located in Kirkland, Washington. The administration has told nursing homes to keep non-medical visitors away from the facility for the meantime. Some assisted living facilities are doing this too. Because of this crisis, retirement for baby boomers is also affected. Here are some ways how the coronavirus epidemic can change retirement for them.
MORE DIFFICULT TO WORK LONGER
Compared to previous decades, there is a great increase in people who intend to work even beyond the age of 65. However, due to the recent times wherein there is a higher possibility of people losing their jobs, it will be so much harder for boomers to secure new employment at their age in comparison to the younger generation.
And there is even a lesser chance that a new job will have the same pay as their previous one. Some decide to go for early retirement to claim Social Security, but this also means that they will be getting lower benefits.
WANTING TO BE CLOSER TO FAMILY
Another very common reason that people who want to move to retirement, with some even wanting to retire earlier, is to be closer to family. In a survey conducted on travel purposes of boomers, the top reasons are family trips and reunions. So it is very likely that because of the threat of the pandemic, more of them will want to be as close as possible to family members.
SENIOR CARE CENTERS WILL BE LESS APPEALING
Due to the danger of being outside and getting exposed to the disease, more boomers are now saying that they prefer to age within the comfort of their own homes. This has also greatly impacted the nursing homes, and several have already closed their doors because of this decline in demand as well as the higher costs.