Have you noticed that retirement has its privileges during the coronavirus pandemic?
It may be difficult to imagine there are perks, especially as Americans and people around the globe continue to suffer deeply from the detrimental health and economic effects of Covid19.
The pandemic has altered Americans’ everyday lives. Routines have been disrupted. Many people are lonely, out of work, and concerned about a declining economy.
Still, others of my generation are afraid to retire at this time because of an uncertain future.
However, if you are retired and over 60, there are perks that make life a little easier during a world-wide health crisis.
Everything from social distancing, saving money on food and gasoline, to not having to worry about finding a job during an economic downturn – these are some of the reasons retirement has its privileges in a pandemic.
Social distancing is easy.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been emphasized that social distancing could mitigate the spread of coronavirus. The perk for retirees is that social distancing is easy.
Retirees don’t have to worry about going to a job where exposure is possible. We can take advantage of senior hours offered at grocery stores and other retailers.
Even local libraries have special times for older adults who want to check out books or use computers. Curbside library pick-up is convenient. It protects library staff and older patrons from potential exposure to corona.
Free curbside grocery pickup.
Everyone loves free stuff, and retirees are no different. ClickList, Smart List, and other online grocery shopping services have been available for a while.
And I’ve wanted to try them out. However, it’s a convenience that came with a fee – until now.
Some grocery stores have waived curbside pickup fees during the pandemic for customers over 60.
It’s easy to place an online order at Albertsons, Kroger, Smith’s, or Fred Meyer.
Once you complete the order, you arrange a convenient time for pickup. A store associate does the shopping for you, then loads your groceries into your vehicle when you arrive.
How nice of a perk is that!
Eating at home costs less.
I’m someone who cooks at home – more often than I thought I would at this stage of life. But the fact remains, Rebel Retiree and I rarely go out to a restaurant.
However, dining out regularly is the norm for many retirees. But because of restaurants shutting down, or the concern of catching coronavirus, many retirees are preparing meals at home.
Aside from the nutritional benefits of making it yourself, there’s also the perk of saving money.
Cooking at home costs less than eating out.
Driving expenses are down.
Because of social distancing and the canceling of many activities, retirees are staying closer to home.
They are avoiding crowds and making fewer trips to run errands.
For many, summertime road trips have turned into staycations.
For the retired, the big perk to less driving is saving on gasoline expenses and other automobile maintenance costs.
And many of us received a nice unexpected bonus in the form of a credit issued to our auto insurance policy based on the reality of driving less during the height of the pandemic.
Social Security checks keep coming.
By definition, retirement means you’ve quit working. At least in the traditional sense.
In addition to collecting Social Security benefits, you may have a part-time job, a pension, or some form of passive income. And hopefully, you’ve found that retirement based on value provides you with a comfortable retirement.
Unlike many workers who have lost income streams because of job loss, or temporary layoffs, retirees at least have Social Security checks that keep coming.
They’re not in the job market competing for jobs that don’t exist.
Also, because everyday living expenses are down, Social Security checks can go a lot further.
Shelter in place privilege.
This is a perk that benefits the older retiree who works a part-time job. Consider it a privilege of aging.
According to the CDC, your risk for severe illness with Covid19 increases with age. Retirees with part-time jobs can potentially quit working, at least temporarily, and collect unemployment.
In addition to regular unemployment benefits, you are entitled to Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. However, FPUA is due to expire on July 25, but may be extended.
State directives recommend individuals 65 and over self-isolate and continue to shelter in place regardless of reopenings.
So, as long as your state recommends self-isolation for older adults, you can collect unemployment.
The perk here is that the amount you collect from unemployment could be more than you were earning at your part-time job.
Wearing a mask is okay.
“An individual may think they have a constitutional right to get sick, but they don’t have a constitutional right to get other people sick.” – Governor Bulluck, Montana
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Americans heard lies and confusion about whether or not wearing a mask is beneficial in any way.
Now, the question has turned into a hotly contested debate between conservatives and liberals.
Mask wearers are labeled liberal paranoid freaks who don’t care about liberty.
While conservatives who oppose wearing masks assert it’s an affront to their freedom.
The perk on this one is older adults who wear masks receive less judgment.
Conflict is unlikely. It’s understood that older adults who wear masks do so out of caution and as a courtesy to others.
Medicare still has you covered.
Employer plans cover about half of the population. When people lose their jobs, employer-based health insurance coverage usually goes with it.
And statiscally, millions of people lost their health insurance coverage during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, choices are COBRA, ACA, or an individual plan.
All are expensive. Thus, many will forego health insurance.
Retirees 65 and older are not affected by a loss of health coverage because of the pandemic.
It’s one of the benefits of retirement. Medicare still has you covered, regardless. It’s not free, it’s not perfect, but it does give some sense of security.
What are the positives you’ve noticed during the pandemic? Please feel free to comment below! And before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook!
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Sources: The Commonwealth Fund
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Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel from Pexels