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Van Der Noord Financial Advisors

Will Covid Change Our View of Retirement?

Long after the pandemic is over, there is reason to believe that COVID-19 will have reshaped the way American’s approach and plan for retirement. In November of 2020, the WSJ published a special section contemplating such changes. Perhaps years from now, readers of this BLOG post will be able to reflect how much actually came to fruition.


With so many deaths from the virus occurring in nursing homes, it is reasonable to presume that the hey day for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) is over. Projections are for fewer but better nursing homes and more resources for people to age at home. Also, to combat isolation, the nursing home of the future may be more like the campus apartment of today with multiple private rooms sharing a common living area.


One big benefit that has come out of the 2020 pandemic is the use of tele-medicine, wearable devices, and other home use diagnostic tests. All this technology can help keep patients and their healthcare providers connected. We will not likely return to the old model of always going to the doctor for everything.

Besides keeping us healthy, technology is also being employed to help retirees live more fulfilled lives. People can now travel virtually to places that cannot be visited in person anymore via live stream guided tours around the world. There are also innovative pairings of older adults with children who need help with homework. Retirees can also use technology to help foreigners learn English.


Why does one 58 year old with the virus and get really sick or even die when another 58 year old has no symptoms at all and wouldn’t even know they had the virus if it weren’t for a positive test result?

Doctors think that the answer could lie in our biological age more so than simply our chronological age. For kicks, I went online and took a free test to determine my biological age. After answering quite a number of medical and lifestyle questions, the test came back that my biological age is 49 - I’m 56. Hey, I like this!


Whether it is increased uncertainty of the future or the fact that working from home is exponentially less stressful than being in the office or workplace, many older Americans are choosing to work longer. In fact, in an abundance of caution, it is probably prudent to work as long as you can. Even if you keep your job, with more employers embracing remote work or flexible hours, there is ample time to fit in recreation thereby relieving the urgency for most to quit work.


Perhaps the silver lining in all of this is that we may have re-discovered a little common sense. If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us- or reminded us – is that for BOTH the quantity as well as the quality of our life, we need to stay connected to one another. As Dr. Philip Pizzo, former dean of Stanford University’s medical school, stated, “We are social beings, and we need human contact”. I know. What an earth-shattering discovery. I’m so glad we have intelligent people in the world helping us with such things.