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Postponing Retirement during COVID

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of things about our day-to-day lives have changes. The way we get groceries has changed, our workstyle has changed, and especially our social lives have changed. It’s no longer so easy or casual to have a small dinner party, or go to a cookout, or even go to see a movie with a friend. These trying times have been very stressful for all of us, and they’ve caused major changes in the way we live, work, and play.

One of the more interesting effects of the pandemic for society has been the changing work culture. For a century, the work routine for many people has revolved around commuting to an office or a location, working the full day, and then commuting back home. With the pandemic making such a work situation less than ideal, many companies have transitioned into having employees work from home instead. It really is a significant cultural and social change.

Given the new acceptance by many companies to have their employees work from home, there is a new trend of older people in the workforce postponing their retirement. Even in situations where money is not an issue, and people do not necessarily have to continue working, some of those people at retirement age are choosing instead to not retire. Rather than having to continue commuting into an office far from home, many can just work from the comfort of their own home.

With the very real mental health risks of the pandemic, especially the effect that lack of social interaction can have on our mental state and emotional happiness, being able to continue working and interacting with our coworkers, even if online-only, provides a sense of well-being and social “busyness.” Older persons near retirement age, faced with the prospect of limited travel, limited in-person social events, and limited entertainment options, have been choosing to continue working.

As geriatric care managers, we at Senior Steps can attest to the great benefit that social interaction has on the physical and mental health of all of our clients. In the face of the pandemic and the severely curtailed social events, continuing to work just a little bit past retirement age is an option that may now, more than ever, be beneficial for both health and overall well-being.

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