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Best New Ideas in Retirement

‘This isn’t just gonna go away’: Long COVID is crashing the retirement hopes of many Americans

Long COVID-19 patients are quietly grappling with health and financial challenges that are impacting retirement plans

More than 20 million Americans are believed to have experienced long COVID, and the symptoms have forced many to drain their savings or drop out of the workforce before they were ready to retire.

Illustration by Mark Long

Two years ago, Kathy Spencer, a 58-year-old math teacher, motorcycle rider and mother of two, planned to guide middle school students through geometry well into her 70s. 

But now Spencer, from Kensington, Conn., is facing the real possibility that long COVID will keep her from ever entering a classroom again. She still needs supplemental oxygen, and has difficulty speaking as a result of the hypoxia, or lack of oxygen reaching her brain. She suffers tremors in her head, arms and legs, which can be triggered by talking, and...