Let me first say, I don’t buy this prediction.
How badly is COVID-19 hurting Americans on the cusp of retirement? Maybe worse than we thought. In an interview, economist Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at The New School in New York City and one of the nation’s leading experts on retirement, told me that half—that’s right, half—of Americans aged 55 and up will retire in poverty or near poverty.
“Our data is showing that, because of the COVID recession, about 50% of workers over the age of 55 will be poor or near-poor adults when they reach 65,” she said.
How poor is that? “A person who’s 65 will be near-poor or poor if they’re living on less than $20,000 a year,” she told me. “I think we could all agree that means chronic deprivation for the rest of your life.”
The unemployment numbers don’t show that the age 55 plus population currently unemployed supports a 50% prediction (read the full article).
Even more significant is Social Security. It seems a bit questionable that 50% of workers currently age 55 will have retirement incomes less than $20,000.
Losing ones job at 55, especially without an emergency fund, is a serious challenge, more so if retirement savings are tapped, but will it cause poverty by age 65? In any case, 50% of Americans that age are not in that boat.
In addition, there are still many years to recover even if it means being in the workforce beyond age 65 as many Americans routinely do.
Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned.