Healthcare workers could delay retirement over COVID-19 financial concerns

October 21, 2020


On top of the mental and emotional pressures of being a healthcare worker during a global pandemic, caregivers also are feeling financially stressed, according to a new report.

The TIAA Institute’s 2020 Healthcare Sector Financial Wellness Survey found that the financial condition of 45% of the healthcare workers surveyed had worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And 27% of those workers expected to see their finances get worse in the next year.

“The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare institutions and their workforce has been extreme,” said Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute senior economist and author of the report. “Some segments have experienced major increases in work hours, while others have experienced furloughs, layoffs and salary reductions. While much attention has been paid to the mental and emotional toll on our frontline medical workers, we must also pay attention to the financial toll on this obviously critical industry and its employees.”

Of those surveyed, 45% now expect to work past 67 and 38% are less confident about their retirement savings, according to the report. The expected retirement age has risen for 29% of healthcare workers 50 and older.

Of the 75% of healthcare workers who emergency savings before the pandemic, about 33% have tapped into it.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare employment was down 3.2% in September compared to a year ago, but numbers have been climbing throughout the end of the year.

In response, national organizations like the American Nurses Foundation, set up pandemic response funds for nurses and other healthcare workers in need.

The 2020 Healthcare Sector Financial Wellness Survey was conducted online from May 21 to June 11 and included responses from 1,203 healthcare workers, including registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, other medical professionals, office and administrative staff and non-medical professionals.