Many Americans, through circumstances beyond their control, find themselves needing to retire earlier than anticipated. Whatever the circumstances, it’s difficult not to feel wrongfooted and hurried by the situation. However, it’s important to get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Here are some things to consider as you make the transition:
Don't Make Fast Decisions
When dealing with a sudden transition like this, it can be tempting to make some sort of hasty decision. But reacting too quickly might hinder your ability to reorient yourself. Unless something is truly urgent, it’s often best to give yourself some space to think about your new life and carefully consider all your available choices. Take the time to organize your thoughts and put your important documents in order. At the end of that period, you can look at things in a cool, calm way.
Work, if Possible
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) states that 56 percent of workers aged 50 and over have faced some sort of unplanned departure from work for various reasons, ranging from health issues or caring for an infirm relative to redundancy. Finding yourself out of work in your 60s can be discouraging, but it’s also true that age is not the barrier it once was. In fact, it’s not unusual for companies to seek an experienced hand to be a consultant or to train the next generation working in a particular field. While it may be part-time or even temporary, if you are able to work, you may find great satisfaction in that opportunity, not to mention additional income.
What to Consider with Tax-Deferred Accounts
Your retirement strategy likely includes some form of a tax-deferred account. If so, making withdrawals is one choice to consider. For example, if you are not working, you may be in a lower tax bracket than before. But keep in mind that penalties might apply, depending on your age.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Make sure to consult with your financial and accounting professionals before accessing any tax-deferred account.
Is Social Security a Factor?
The longer you delay taking your Social Security payments, the greater they will be. While Americans have an opportunity to start taking payments as early as age 62, the payments will not reflect the amount you could be getting at full retirement age. Starting at 62 may be a consideration for those who need the income or have some other urgent need, such as being in poor health.
Making an unexpected change can bring changes to your overall retirement strategy. However, it’s important to remember that it's likely your financial professional has worked with other people in similar circumstances. This might be one of those times when it’s good to have someone who can help provide some guidance.