A COVID-19 Driven Recession and its Implications for Seniors

Few people around the country can say that they have been completely insulated from the coronavirus pandemic’s effects as its ripple effect continues to touch more and more lives. The ramifications of COVID-19 will last well beyond this disease’s lifespan, and they will be felt for several years to come.

One of the most affected groups is senior citizens, many of whom have and continue to face several difficulties. Among them are the following:

Investment insecurity

As always, the stock market is an accurate barometer of an economy’s sentiment. It has shown itself to be volatile in recent months, with several record highs and lows recorded. 

This jittery market behavior has many seniors panicking as their retirement savings are affected by profits, losses, and stock prices. When markets dip, so does their capital, which then affects their disposable income.

While it appears that markets have begun to recover as the economy reopens, there is still uncertainty about what the coming months and years will yield. If a virus could cause so much damage to the economy, what else is around the corner that could do something similar? This is a real fear that investors face, and retirees are among them.

Rising health costs

With age declared a coronavirus comorbidity as soon as the illness presented itself, seniors became a high-risk demographic right away. Statistics have proven that seniors are more susceptible to the virus because of the gradual weakening of their immune systems. This makes it difficult for their bodies to fight off a virus and recover from an infection.

But COVID-19’s effects are not limited to retirees’ bodies, because there is a financial price to pay. According to Russell Noga, a Medicare Supplement Plans 2021 expert from Medisupps, those without a plan will face skyrocketing medical bills as Medicare alone cannot cover their costs. He encourages seniors who have not yet considered such additional coverage to visit Mediupps.com to find out how much it will ease their medical bill burden.

Unemployment

Very few people could have predicted the employment fallout of lockdowns imposed across the country. Millions of people lost their jobs within a matter of weeks and became reliant on government support. 

Among the employment casualties of this pandemic were seniors. As the economy recovers, their reemployment prospects are markedly less favorable than those of their younger counterparts. 

Rising costs of living

As production slowed on many items or was shut down entirely, prices surged, leaving many people unable to afford the things they used to buy. Unfortunately, salaries and incomes do not rise when the cost of living does. These sudden price increases have caused much financial turmoil and uncertainty for those already struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic.

Seniors find themselves living on an income that has remained stagnant while trying to purchase items that have become more expensive. Consequently, many have to find new ways to tighten their belts to make their income go a little further.

Supporting others

Even seniors who were lucky enough to keep their jobs or have sufficient retirement savings to see them through these tough times have not been untouched. Their children might have lost their employment and are relying on their parents for support. This includes covering expenses for grandchildren or taking family members into their homes during their hour of need.

There has been short-term financial support from the government, but it cannot last indefinitely, and there seems to be no end to the uncertainty lying ahead. This leaves families with no alternative but to offer each other financial support even though they can barely afford to do so.

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