What to Do If You Have to Retire Early

When do you plan to retire? When you’re 65, 70, 75?  Five years from now, ten years from now? What would you do if something happened and you had to retire next month? Would you be prepared? Would you know what to do? Many workers find themselves suddenly retired—sometimes years ahead of their target date. Some people end up retiring early because of a job loss, a health problem or caregiving responsibilities. It happens more often than you may realize. When retirement comes unexpectedly, the initial impulse is to make drastic financial moves. However, the author of this article suggests that those who are forced to retire sooner than planned should weigh their options carefully before making any moves that could hurt their financial prospects. She advises those who must retire early to consider a part-time job, create a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy, and determine whether to file for or delay Social Security benefits. You may not be thinking about retirement right now. However, everyone should have a plan if it comes sooner than you expect—particularly those who are closer to their planned retirement age.