Is there a silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis? There are millions of Americans on unemployment and facing other financial hardships caused by the pandemic. However, there are others who may be experiencing an unexpected benefit. Those who have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs while working from home are finding that the money saved by not commuting and not going out as often could actually lead them to retiring early.
Overall, the pandemic has forced people to realize the need to save more and spend less. For millennials, they have started thinking about early retirement. According to a recent survey done by Northwestern Mutual, Millennials are almost twice as likely to be thinking about retiring early as Gen Zers and almost three times as likely as Gen Xers.
A long-term benefit of the pandemic?
According to participants in the study, Millennials are able to adapt to the circumstances created by the pandemic more easily. They believe this is the driving force for thinking about early retirement. “Millennials are digital natives, and many of them transitioned to remote work without much problem. Some ditched pricey apartments in expensive cities and moved to cheaper areas or even back home with their parents,” said Chantel Bonneau, a Northwestern Mutual advisor in San Diego.
But, before Millennials completely rethink their retirement plans, Bonneau cautions that these conditions may not last. Rent in a smaller city may be cheaper now, but it likely won’t stay that way. And companies are still figuring out the kinks of broad work-from-home policies, she says. In other words, some jobs could start offering their remote employees less money. “What people are not taking into consideration is if a company can support a work-from-home environment, they may not be forced to pay a big-city salary,” Bonneau says because those employers “now have a broader pool of talent to look for.”
Has the coronavirus pandemic forced you to rethink your retirement plans? If so, how?