There is not one person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by the Coronavirus. The virus started spreading in 2019 and continued to affect people globally throughout the year 2020. Traveling was halted, lockdowns prevailed, and the economy was disrupted as the world faced an unprecedented situation throughout the globe.
Not only has the pandemic caused people to stay at home throughout the year, but it has also affected our lifestyle, changing it forever. Some people are referring to the current situation as “the new normal,” indicating that we will have to adapt to this situation as this might be the new normal way of life.
Like every other aspect of life, aging and retirement have also been affected by the pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future, but experts are pointing out a few aging and retirement trends that we can expect in the future.
Let’s have a look at a few aspects of how COVID-19 will change aging and retirement:
1. More People Would Age At Home
The pandemic has made us realize how inadequate the medical facilities are and how we need to focus on providing better nursing facilities at home. Hence, authorities are focusing on providing the elderly nursing facilities in their own homes instead of at nursing facilities.
Although the expenses of smaller/individual nursing facilities and units are higher, it is much safer for the elderly. Authorities are looking into alternatives where senior citizens can remain in their homes, and facilities like medical care, transportation, home care, and daycare will be provided to them.
2. Technology Boom
We have also realized the power of technology during the pandemic, and IT experts are working more towards improving the technology to facilitate people while staying at home. Already people are managing their tasks using their smartphones, including shopping, doing grocery, getting food, getting an education, booking homes services like carpet cleaning, etc.
It is also expected that the elderly are likely to benefit from this boom in technology. Researchers predict that a lot of technological innovations are coming that will be aimed to facilitate senior citizens.
The increased sophistication of smart and wearable devices will prove instrumental in helping elders, especially in the medical field. Telemedicine will gain even more popularity as people will use wearable devices to track their health.
3. Life Expectancy Will Decline
With the increased number of deaths due to the COVID-19, it is expected that the overall life expectancy rate will decline. Our lives have been affected severely by the virus. To stay safe from getting the virus, people are staying indoors, avoiding outdoor activities such as walk, exercise, running, and socializing.
The resulting isolation also has adverse effects on people’s well-being, inducing anxiety, stress, and depression. These factors are important in different phases of life.
4. Healthier Lifestyles
Covid-19 has also motivated people to start living a healthier lifestyle and focusing on their wellness. The diet we consume and the physical movements we make are essential to our well-being. The better your internal health, the easier it is to stay away from deadly viruses.
The same virus is impacting people differently. Hence people are focusing on improving their immunity by taking care of the diet and physical movements. The pandemic has also raised an awareness of “biological age,” which helps people assess their age according to their physical health rather than their birth year.
We are likely to see more focus on healthier lifestyles in the coming years, and technology is likely to play an important role in monitoring one’s health stats.
5. Focus On Savings
We will have to be more mindful about our spending habits considering that aging is getting expensive by the day. People currently rely on the 4% rule, where 4% of savings are withdrawn in the first year of retirement and then get annual raise in the account for the inflation rate.
However, it is certain that we would be needing enough money to secure our future and medical needs as the world is becoming more vulnerable to deadly viruses. So for people, now is the time to be mindful of how they can save up for their future.
6. People Will Work For As Long As They Can
According to research, in 1993, 29% of people continued working after 55 years, whereas the number rose to 40% in 2019. It is expected that this number would increase as people want to continue working for as long as they can.
During the pandemic, working hours and modes have become more flexible where most people are working remotely. This makes it easier for the elderly to remain employed.
People would now likely to continue post 55 years of age to secure their futures as the pandemic has made it harder for everyone to afford a normal lifestyle as before. However, people who do not have good health need to be accommodated by the authorities.
7. Change in Perspective
Before COVID-19, we had a very different outlook on life, and no one could imagine the world we are living in now. Our views on senior citizens being sick and becoming a burden on the younger generation have also changed during COVID-19.
Some elderly people have recovered from the virus, whereas young, fit athletes have lost their lives to it. Hence the perspective that older adults are the weaker ones has also hugely been impacted. Our general perception of having adequate healthcare facilities has also been changed as we have seen the condition and inadequacy of medical facilities.
COVID-19 has not only impacted our lives in the short-term, but it has also changed our views forever. The freedom and liberty we had before the virus appear is a luxury now, and people are very much concerned about aging, retirement, and securing their futures financially.
Policymakers around the world are also working on better plans to facilitate the citizens and make this horrendous time a little easier and bearable. If nothing else, this time has taught us to be grateful, patient, and kind towards everyone else as we are all in this together.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Carpet cleaners London