Early retirements could be drastic in healthcare

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Just as millennials of certain socioeconomic status are exiting the workforce or shaking up their professional pursuits due to pandemic fatigue, 2.7 million Americans age 55 or older are embracing another labor market change — early retirement, reports Bloomberg

Financial advisers report a fresh "life-is-short" sentiment among clients considering hanging up their hats early, who are more likely to be white and have large retirement accounts, according to federal surveys and Bloomberg's interviews. 

Numbers back up their observations: A November analysis from Pew Research Center found 1.2 million more baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, reported being retired compared to previous years. The number of people expecting to work past age 67 dropped to a record low (39.2 percent) in March, according to a New York Federal Reserve survey. 

The trend could be especially staunch in healthcare, given that nearly a third of physicians are over 60, according to the nonprofit Physicians Foundation. 

Regardless of industry, the labor market will feel the loss of older workers, who have strong productivity, low absenteeism and can train and mentor newcomers. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has also cited a "significant number" of people saying they've retired as one reason companies are reporting labor shortages. It's unclear if they will rejoin the job market.

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