The Pandemic: Job Loss, Retirement, and Income
The current pandemic financial crisis has the financial news outlets flooding their feeds with articles about the dilemma being faced by those who are at or nearing retirement. This is further compounded for those who have experienced a recent job loss. Even those who haven’t officially been laid off are eyeing the near future with concern about the possibility they will get swept up in recessionary job cuts.
According to the 2020 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, as of the end of March 2020, 67% of those still working still felt confident that they could live comfortably in retirement compared with only 47% who have recently experienced job loss or reduced pay due to the pandemic.
While the pandemic and associated volatility has everyone reviewing their retirement strategies and making adjustments, those facing unemployment are seeing a more urgent need to take action. One of the biggest retirement concerns people have is whether they will have enough income to live comfortably in retirement. The same EBRI March 2020 survey showed that guaranteed income is of much higher importance than preserving and assets. According to Lisa Greenwald of independent research firm Greenwald & Associates, “Income remains a high priority for retirees. When asked to identify their guiding principle for managing finances in retirement — income stability vs. preserving principal and wealth — 3 in 4 of both retirees (76 percent) and workers (75 percent) select ’Income Stability: Ensuring a set amount of income for life,” said Greenwald.
For those already experiencing income uncertainty due to job loss or reduction, the level of concern regarding retirement income is being brought to the forefront.
For many of us, we anticipate relying on assets such as 401K funds and non-tax qualified investments such as brokerage accounts in retirement. Those accounts are subject to volatility and we can’t accurately predict their value at retirement. Additionally, some are finding that their only source of guaranteed retirement in retirement is Social Security, and even that is in question.
Among those currently thinking about future income, more than 50% of all them say that they intend to use a guaranteed income product, such as an annuity, to supplement provide income in retirement, although only 36% currently have this type of income product as part of their retirement strategy.
Some of those in a more fortunate position who have lost their jobs are considering the option of retiring early. They, too, will need to have an income plan in retirement. I believe it’s crucial for anyone approaching retirement to think about incorporating additional income guarantees into their retirement strategies. One of the few positives for those who have recently lost their jobs just may be a window to see if enhancing guaranteed retirement income in retirement makes sense for their plan.
To learn more about retirement strategies during these times, or if you have recently become unemployed and have questions around your retirement, book an appointment today!
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