#27 Will You Be Forced To Retire Early? (Chances are the answer is “Yes”)

If your retirement plan consistents of working until you have enough money to retire, you may want to think again, or at least begin working on a “Plan B”.  At a minimum, you should be aware of the reality that you may not have that option.

According to a recent study by Voya Financial (as reported by USA Today), 60% of Americans have to retire earlier than planned.

60%.   6 Out Of 10

You better have a strong Plan B.

If you’re not doing everything in your power to be prepared as early as possible, you’re putting your future at risk.  Based on the data, the reality is that you have a greater chance of having to retire sooner than you do of working to your planned retirement date.  Don’t be naive and assume all will be well.  I’m sure most folks in that 60% felt they had time to save more for retirement.  I suspect most were ill prepared for the reality they faced when they were forced to retire early.  I suspect most thought it wouldn’t happen to them.  Unfortunately, we’re not in complete control of downsizing decisions, or unexpected health situations (the two most common reasons for being forced out early).

Stop.  Think for a few minutes.

Imagine for a minute that you are suddenly faced with the situation the majority of retirees face.  You’re suddenly forced out early.  It’s unavoidable.  Imagine it’s you.  A few questions for you:

  1. Will you have enough money to live your desired lifestyle?
  2. Will you have regrets that you didn’t do more when you had the chance?
  3. Will you face a long retirement of stress and disappointment?
  4. What would you have told yourself 5 years ago if you knew this would happen?

Now, imagine you KNOW you’re going to lose your job in 5 years, even though you think you’re going to work for 7 more years.  What would you start doing TODAY to be prepared in 5 years?  I suspect you’d:

  1. Spend a bit less money on optional purchases?
  2. Perhaps defer buying that new car you were thinking about?
  3. Have a bit more interest in your investment statement?
  4. Consider consulting with a financial planner to develop a plan?
  5. Increase your savings rate by at least 5%?

The reality is – you’ll probably retire earlier than you think you will, and it won’t be by choice.

Assume it will happen to you, and plan accordingly.

Start today, while you still have time.



  1. Wow–six out of ten–that is a wake up call! I am really enjoying these posts! They often cause me to think about things I had not taken the time to consider. Thank you!

  2. According to stats I’ve seen elsewhere from several sources, about half of retirees exited work years earlier than expected due to health or career problems. Happened to me (classic age 55+ corp agism layoff). I laugh that so many plan to fix retirement inadequacy by working longer, or forever. How many oldsters do you see at your workplace now? Where are all the jobs coming from to support extended careers? Although I had planned on pulling the plug soon, still rankles to be pushed out before I wanted to go.

    When I started working, companies pushed folks out after 60, now easily ten years earlier. So expect involuntary departures to occur earlier and more frequently than for preceding generations.

    1. Stevie, interesting to hear from a reader who actually experienced this. I agree with you that too many folks are using the “I’ll work longer” plan, which isn’t viable for most. Your comment is a good warning, from one who’s been there. Good point about “how many oldsters do you see at your workplace”, I agree, not many.

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