6 Ways to Prepare for an Unexpected Early Retirement

Pound of Cure

There’s more to planning for retirement than money management. Regardless of when it happens—unexpectedly early, or on our own terms—we can develop certain habits now to mitigate problems and strengthen our viability later.

  1. Rethink work – Look for a job now, when you’re not “looking for a job.” Start thinking out of the box about ways you might work part-time or in a different capacity. Having a work plan in place will give you peace of mind now, and provide you extra cash in hand should you need it later.
  2. Practice streamlining – Make small adjustments to “fun” spending. Take a close look at your spending habits. What is wasteful or overly generous? By trimming luxury expenses here and there, we can build healthier spending habits in the event of financially leaner times. Need help tracking spending? Download our free budget template.
  3. Review your benefits – Social Security and Medicare choices change yearly. Be sure you stay current on new tax laws, penalties, rules for eligibility, and benefit details.
  4. Talk to experts – If you have an investment strategy in place, that’s great! If not, consider making one today. Regardless, yesterday’s plan may not fit tomorrow’s financial landscape. It’s important to stay diversified in an ever-changing market. Work with people you trust to ensure a secure future with a sound retirement plan.
  5. Write it down – Globally, only 14% of workers have a written retirement plan.3 The good news: If you take the time to write a strategy, you significantly improve your chances of acting on those intensions.
  6. Indulge in joy – Abrupt change in lifestyle can trigger anxiety and depression. Whether we face retirement unexpectedly or not, the shift from working to not working is no small thing. By staying connected to what makes us happy, we can decrease stress and encourage a positive outlook.
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With retirement comes uncertainty—that much is certain. But uncertainty doesn’t have to mean insecurity. Take some time today to think about what you need to continue to be happy tomorrow. Prepare yourself for the unexpected. Craft a Plan B. Rethink your retirement plan. Do things today that make you happy, and make a habit of it.

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