Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Antonio Fernandez, 64, had envisioned staying in his job at Chevron in Houston for perhaps another five years.
“I probably think I had five more years to work, at least,” Fernandez said of his role with the oil giant. “I wasn’t looking forward to being retired.”
But as with so many other things, the pandemic is remaking the playbook for when to retire in the United States.
Retiring older had been a clear trend in the pre-pandemic era of the world’s largest economy, sometimes due to preference, but often out of necessity.
Some have opted to stay employed into their 70s to maintain benefits in a country where healthcare costs are notoriously high. In other cases, people were forced to keep working after their savings were hit by the 2008 financial crisis.
But since the spring of 2020, millions over the age of 65 have exited the workforce, often earlier than expected.
In June alone, more than 1.7 million…