A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reveals surprising statistics about the number of individuals filing for retirement. In difficult economic times like today, experts would expect to see more Americans staying at work longer to rebuild financial losses. Instead, Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, says more Americans are filing for retirement early. As the article says:

“Since the current fiscal year began Oct. 1, claims have been running 25% ahead of last year, compared with the 15% increase that had been projected as the post-World War II generation reaches eligibility for early retirement.”

It is unclear what caused the sudden surge of claims or if the trend will continue. One proposed reason for the rise in claims is that laid-off workers are claiming retirement early to ease the immediate financial burden they face. Lay-offs are coming more and more common among older workers because fewer are protected by union laws that require younger workers to be fired first. Older workers tend to have a harder time finding new employment once fired and experts believe many who retire will probably not return to the workforce once the economy picks up.

By Kaitlin Herbert