Why ‘unretirement’ is rising in popularity
Whether it’s through a pension fund, retirement savings, moving abroad, downsizing one’s home, or even all of the above, many people actively make financial plans for when they’ll reach the retirement age and can finally stop working. But did you know that there’s a growing number of them not ready to give up work? In this Pacific Prime Latin America article, we’ll tell you all about the latest trend called ‘unretirement’ and the reason why it appeals to so many people.
Definition of unretirement
Let’s start with a dictionary definition of the term. Unretirement is when retirees, or people close to the retirement age, opt to continue to be part of the workforce. The circumstances behind this decision vary, and depend on the person’s financial, mental, physical or even social status. While some may not be able to afford retirement, others may feel bored and without a purpose when not working.
More people are ‘unretiring’ this year compared to last year
In the US, a CNBC article reports that the level of workers who retired then came back to the labor force one year later is around 3.2% – which is where it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic’s worst days, the unretirement level stood at 2%. These figures represent a clear bounce back. According to a new survey by CNBC,
68% of the workers who retired during the pandemic would now consider returning to work. And a staggering 94% of those who left the workforce but never officially retired would do the same.
Factors influencing the rise in popularity of unretirement
From pandemic-induced layoffs that need filling and health scares that are slowly subsiding to the global economic crisis and more, all of these factors come together to create the perfect conditions for unretirement. So much so that many are coining this phenomenon ‘The Great Unretirement’, taking inspiration from another trend known as ‘The Great Resignation’ where people quit their jobs en masse.
Here are the factors that are influencing the rise in popularity of unretirement:
- A thriving job market and labor shortages: With so many layoffs during the pandemic, the time has come to fill these roles, which labor market shortages make it difficult to do so. In this climate, workers have the first choice and many retirees are taking advantage.
- COVID-19 subsides and so does the health scare: The Omicron variant, coupled with widespread vaccination, has contributed to the fading away of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, many people who stopped working for health reasons are weighing their options.
- Soaring inflation and rising cost of living: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that prices in March 2022 increased 8.5% from a year ago. This is incentivizing those living on a fixed income like pensions or retirement savings to return to the workforce.
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While unretirement out of choice is not a bad thing, unretirement out of necessity certainly is. It goes to show how unpredictable life is and how important financial security is, thereby requiring people to plan for things out of their control. This includes the sudden onset of health issues and spiraling medical bills. So much so that the importance of a comprehensive health insurance plan for retirees can’t be overlooked.
Whether you’re looking for expat health insurance, retiree health insurance, or any other health insurance, Pacific Prime Latin America can help. We have over two decades of experience helping clients find and compare suitable options, as well go above and beyond to support clients throughout their insurance journey. We are also 100% impartial, knowledgeable, and friendly.
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