Thousands of retirees head back to work as costs rise

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — As inflation in the U.S. hits a 40-year high, thousands of retirees are heading back to work in order to get by.

Tina Caston is one of them. The 67-year-old worked as an operations officer in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years and thought she was on track to retire comfortably.

Then costs began to rise.

“I thought I was doing all the right things — saving and taking care of family members. I never thought that at this point I would be retired and have to find another job,” said Caston.

Now, Caston has gone back to work as a substitute teacher. She expects to work for five more years in order to support herself and her mother. By then, she’ll be 72-years-old.

And she’s not alone, thousands of retirees are going back to work. According to Indeed, 3% of retirees re-entered the workforce in just February.

The latest consumer price index, released earlier this week, showed prices have risen 8.5% since this time last year, marking a 40-year high for inflation.

But rising costs are just part of the reason many retirees are heading back to work. Others are returning because they didn’t want to retire in the first place.

“During the pandemic, millions of older workers were pushed out before they were ready,” labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci said on “Morning In America” Friday.

For that reason, Ghilarducci says retirees were forced to dip into their savings earlier than they expected and missed out on years of wages they were counting on.

As of August 2021, there were more than 2.4 million excess retirements due to the pandemic, according to estimates from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Now, many of those who were pushed out are heading back to work.

In just the past six months, about 480,000 adults over 55 began looking for a job, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It’s a trend that is expected to continue for months as some retirees return to jobs they never wanted to leave, while others can’t afford to pay their bills or buy the basics.

For Caston, it’s forced her to put lifelong dreams on hold.

“I did my DNA, Ancestry.com, 23AndMe, I’m supposed to hit all those countries right now. I am not supposed to be back in the classroom substitute teaching,” she said.

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