Postpone retirement or retire early amid coronavirus?

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown retirement plans in question

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The coronavirus pandemic has not only thrown public health into jeopardy, it’s put the economy into a whirlwind, too. Businesses have shuttered, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has spiked both ways and the unemployment rate is at a record 14.7 percent.

One-third of the U.S. labor force is 50 or older and 5 million people in that demographic work in retail, according to data from the AARP, an industry hit hard by shutdowns.

That leaves some Americans in a precarious spot, especially those who are looking to retire soon, as they may now be forced to juggle bills and trying to stretch their income.

48% OF WORKERS RETIRE EARLIER THAN PLANNED -- AND THAT FIGURE COULD RISE DUE TO COVID-19

In a report, The Motely Fool personal finance and retirement writer Katie Brockman offered some tips on what to do if you’re weighing whether or not to delay your retirement plans.

Retiring now

Many Americans have lost their jobs in the outbreak and older adults are no different.

The unemployment rate among those ages 55 and older has jumped from 3.3 percent in late March to a striking 13.6 percent in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

HOW TO RETIRE ON TIME IN SPITE OF COVID-19

If you are one of the many who’ve been forced out of work, you may consider not returning to the workforce at all and instead retiring early, The Motley Fool said, assuming you have a large enough nest egg to last you at least until the pandemic subsides.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans aged 50 to 59 had less than $50,000 saved for retirement, according to a 2020 TD Ameritrade report, which polled 2,000 U.S. adults. Some adults, though, will be able to collect Social Security benefits if they’re at least 62 years old.

Waiting it out

If you don’t have a sufficient amount stashed away to retire and are fortunate enough to remain employed, you might consider waiting for the economy to recover to call it quits.

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And you wouldn’t be alone. More than 60 percent of Americans say the pandemic has negatively affected their ability to save for the future, a survey from Country Financial said.

Waiting could give you more time to beef up your savings.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that while continuing to work a few more years may sound good on paper, it can be easier said than done if you have health or mobility concerns or another impediment. Seek out the advice of a trusted financial adviser in that instance.

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