Created: January 30, 2022
Modified: November 29, 2022

4 Steps to Survive Forced Early Retirement

Joel Johnson, CFP® gives four steps to survive a forced early retirement on this weekend’s episode of Better Money Atlanta.

1. Determine if you need to find another job

A forced retirement can be an emotional time, as it wasn’t exactly your choice. Use this time to reflect and determine if you truly are ready to retire. You may choose to pursue early retirement to enjoy your newfound free time, or you may wish to continue making money and find work elsewhere. Some people will go back to work part-time or work a job that pays less. Meanwhile, others will search for a job that pays about the same as their last job; This way, they don’t see too much of a change all at once.

2. Review your benefits

Age is something to consider with a forced early retirement. When it comes to health care, you may have to pay out-of-pocket if you are under 65, the age mark to qualify for Medicare. Paying for health insurance directly can be very costly. There are a few options to help with the cost including: continuing to buy health insurance through your company, going on the Affordable Care Act, or joining other exchange plans. Find out what happens to the health benefit you were receiving through your company and if you should trigger your pension and Social Security early.

3. Decide what to do with your 401(k)

Ideally, you’ll want to leave your 401(k) alone as long as possible; They are assets that we can pass on to our kids or dependents. You may also choose to roll it over into an IRA, which can benefit you with more flexibility.

4. Determine if you can afford to retire

Ask yourself, “Can I afford to retire?” Having a retirement plan in place and having an idea about how much money you’ll spend in retirement will help your decision-making process. You may find that you need to remain generating the same amount income you previously were. Determining if you can afford to retire can be both an analytical and an emotional decision.

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