There is no doubt that the past year and a half of pandemic has had unprecedented impact on all aspects of life and commerce, from schooling and employment to retirement plans. The lifestyles of most Americans, particularly those who are nearing retirement age, have been seriously shaken. Post-COVID lifestyles may never seem normal again, and the realities of aging, future housing needs and retirement income have gained new importance in the minds of most workers who look ahead to the future.
Approximately 10 percent of those who either lost jobs or were furloughed during the pandemic now admit that they face the probability of an earlier-than-planned retirement, but nearly half of all Americans have either lowered their contributions to retirement accounts over the past year or stopped making regular deposits to those accounts, pointing to COVID-19 as the reason. Sadly, 30% of Americans reported withdrawing funds from their retirement accounts during the early months of the pandemic, on average more than $6,700 per individual.
Today, only about 57% of Americans have retirement accounts, and only a minority feel they have sufficient funds to provide for a comfortable retirement. Although the average retirement age is 66, 74% of Americans say they plan to continue working longer, and they fear they will not have sufficient funds available to provide for their retirement, let alone handle a health emergency.
Planning for the Future
There is a huge disparity between the dollar amount an average American believes is necessary for retirement — $1.9 million in savings — and the average retirement account balance of $255,000. Four of five Americans are believed to lack the resources and information needed to plan for their own retirement, and to make the best strategic choices and financial decisions.
The over-65 population today totals 15.6% of the population. By 2050, the over-65 segment is expected to represent more than one quarter of the total population. Even though seniors today are healthier and more active than they were a generation ago, aging still ushers in physical and mental changes. In 2020, the share of senior living communities was relatively equally split between nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities and continuing care communities, at slightly over 26% for each, with approximately an 18% share represented by majority independent living communities.
Now may be the perfect time to consider your future plans. With senior communities currently under development throughout the country and a strong real estate market nationwide, is this the time to make a change?