(NewsNation) — As U.S. inflation hits its highest level in 40 years, thousands of retirees are heading back to work to get by.
Tina Caston is one of them. The 67-year-old worked as an operations officer in the US Navy for more than 20 years and believed she was on track to retire comfortably.
Then the costs started to rise.
“I thought I was doing all the right things – saving and taking care of family members. I never would have thought that at this point I would be retired and have to find another job,” Caston said.
Now Caston has returned to work as a substitute teacher. She expects to work for another five years to support herself and her mother. She will then be 72 years old.
And she is not alone, thousands of retirees are returning to work. According to Indeed, 3% of retirees re-entered the workforce in February alone.
The latest consumer price index, released earlier this week, showed prices rose 8.5% since this time last year, marking a 40-year high for inflation.
But rising costs are just one reason many retirees are returning to work. Others come back because they didn’t want to retire in the first place.
“During the pandemic, millions of older workers were kicked out before they were ready,” labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci said Friday in “Morning In America.”
Because of this, Ghilarducci says retirees have been forced to dip into their savings sooner than expected and have missed out on years of salary they had been counting on.
As of August 2021, there were more than 2.4 million excess retirements due to the pandemic, according to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimates.
Now many of those expelled are returning to work.
In the past six months alone, about 480,000 adults over the age of 55 have started looking for jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It’s a trend that’s set to continue for months as some retirees return to jobs they never wanted to leave, while others can’t afford to pay their bills or buy the basic products.
For Caston, it forced her to put lifelong dreams on hold.
“I did my DNA, Ancestry.com, 23AndMe, I’m supposed to hit all these countries right now. I’m not supposed to be back in the classroom as a substitute,” she said.