Coronavirus Crisis Could Cause Americans To Delay Retirement For At Least 5 Years

Stock market volatility is causing Americans aged 55 to 60 to reevaluate retirement. A new study of 380 Americans in that age group by SimplyWise found that four in 10 respondents said they would delay their retirement if the market dropped another 10 percent.

The study was conducted during the first week of March, before the S&P 500 plummeted.

It doesn’t look like it’ll be just another year or two for many of those respondents. One out of three said they would stay in the workforce for at least five years, while the average of those who said they would put off retirement stated they would work an additional 4.9 years.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.3 million people over the age of 65 are currently in the workforce. And a 2019 poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 23% of workers said they don’t expect to ever stop working.

Many of those same respondents might also be willing to take further steps to ease the effects that stem from the current market plunge. About a quarter of those surveyed by SimplyWise said they would consider claiming Social Security benefits earlier than initially planned. 

Taking Social Security at the age of 62, the earliest possible age, will permanently reduce their monthly retirement benefits for the rest of their lives. Those willing to wait till 70 to take their Social Security, the age when delayed retirement credits end, greatly benefits retirees, as they earn an extra 8 percent per year for every year they postpone claiming benefits beyond their full retirement age.

Those born between 1943 and 1954 have a full retirement age of 66. The full retirement age increases by two months for every birth year between 1955 and 1960.


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