COVID-19 is having a fundamental impact on retirement, according to a study by Principal. One in five respondents said the effects of the pandemic were “changing the definition of retirement,” including 23% of people who were already retired.
The study highlights an additional challenge retirees have today. In addition to the stresses of transitioning to a new life stage, the pandemic has introduced new challenges. Not being able to travel or see family members has left retirees wondering what they’ll do when they’re not working.
“Retirees share that they struggle with imagining their life in retirement and aren’t sure how they’ll spend their time,” according to the report.
Principal surveyed over 4,700 workers and retirees in three phases between December 2019 and September.
Sixty-five percent of workers said the pandemic will have an impact on their retirement, including 10% who said it will have a severe impact. Indeed, 12% of workers said they were planning to retire soon, but will now have to work longer.
“Nearly two-thirds of workers anticipate the pandemic will somehow impact their path to retirement,” Sri Reddy, senior vice president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal, said in a statement. “Uncertainty is part of life. The good news is we can take small measures to support our long-term resilience against unpredictable shocks in the future.”