Lately, the "Great Resignation" has led many Americans to leave their jobs for other opportunities while others have chosen a different path... early retirement. We can all understand looking for a more suitable place of work, but some might ask, "Why now?" This quick look into 2 interesting factors might help explain some of the mystery around this new trend.
The Great Retirement Boom
In 2008, the oldest baby boomers reached age 62. This coincided with the "Great Recession," which contributed to a slowed economy. Jump to 2021 when the economy had distanced itself from those events and just over half of adults aged 55 or older had exited the workforce and retired. For adult Americans aged 65 to 74, the percentage who had left the workforce was 66.9 percent. In short, many people decided to hold off on retiring and wait a few years, meaning it's not an early retirement so much as a delayed one.1
Another reason is that the pandemic created a period of flux in which people decided it was natural to work less, transition to new things, or retire altogether. The pandemic has undoubtedly gone on much longer than any could have imagined. It’s understandable that someone reaching the end of a long and rewarding career may choose to exit their job during COVID-19 and parachute into a less stressful, more enjoyable career.
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1. Pewresearch.org, November 4, 2021
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Breaking Down the Great Resignation
May 27, 2022