What You Need to Know
- More than 3.1 million Americans age 55 or older plan to apply for Social Security benefits earlier than expected.
- In New York City, a net 300,000 people plan to apply earlier for Social Security, says the Census Bureau.
- “In a ... bad economy, older workers are pushed out into the arms of Social Security,” says economist Teresa Ghilarducci.
More than 3.1 million Americans age 55 or older plan to apply for Social Security benefits earlier than they once thought because of the pandemic, according to the Census Bureau.
That’s offset by 1.4 million people in the same age group who anticipate working longer due to the impact of Covid-19, according to the bureau’s latest Household Pulse survey conducted between March 3-15.
The upshot is a net 1.7 million early retirements, which will likely mean more positions opening up for younger Americans.
Older workers — the so-called “baby boomers‘’ born in the two decades after World War II — have accounted for essentially all of the more than 17 million jobs created in the U.S. since 2000.
“In a good economy, older workers can work and claim later; in a bad economy, older workers are pushed out into the arms of Social Security,” said Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics at the New School for Social Research. “Claiming early means a lifetime permanent cut in monthly benefits for you and your spouse and survivors.”
The shift may prove especially significant for some regions.
In the New York City metro area, for example, a net 300,000 people expect to apply earlier for Social Security, according to the Census Bureau.
That could add to other evidence suggesting an exodus from New York — even though home sales in Manhattan are now booming after a slump in 2020 — and point to demographic changes ahead.