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Think retirement is out of reach? Here’s what you need to know

The pandemic caused tectonic shifts in the job market as workers young and old quit and searched for something better — in their work or in their life. According to the Pew Research Center, a little more than half of adults ages 55 and older had ditched the grind by late 2021, compared with 48% in the months before the first case of COVID-19 was recorded.

If you’ve spent the better part of your earthly existence punching a clock, you may be sorely tempted to join the throng of cool kids on the sidelines. And if you’ve been working for a company with 50 or more workers, chances are good that you’ve accumulated some retirement savings through a pension or retirement plan — especially if you’ve not spent your career in a service industry.

Experts caution, however, that the transition from a life of work to a life of leisure isn’t simple, and that it’s crucial to have a plan. David John, senior policy advisor for AARP’s Public Policy Institute, said researchers have found that “people who do the planning and do budgeting end up with a much better retirement outcome than people who just wing it or use a rule of thumb.”

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