A growing number of older US workers are bucking expectations and retiring early, risking financial hardship in their senior years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead of staving off retirement to rebuild diminished nest eggs, many older Americans, frustrated by the job market, are simply calling it quits. Add aging Baby Boomers to the mix, and Social Security claims are up 25% over last year.
Early retirement reduces benefits by up to a quarter, leaving elderly men—and their wives, who tend to live longer—in danger of going broke. "When the recession ends and the economy bounces back, there may be a band of people for whom things will never be the same again," said one AARP director. "They'll still be paying the price for 10, 20, 30 years down the road."