Written by Joel Dodds

For some of us, retiring early is the dream. For others, there’s no choice in the matter – they have to retire, and the situation is beyond their control.

Statistics found that the average person in the US will retire aged 66, but it’s worth remembering that your retirement age isn’t always something you can predict. Some of the most common causes of forced early retirement include:

1.       Layoffs

You might think that as an older worker who has shown loyalty to the business you work for, you’ll be exempt from company layoffs. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Older employees tend to actually be the first to be hit when redundancy strikes – and it’s much more difficult for you to land another full-time job after that. Retiring early might be your only option.

2.       Poor health

Illnesses can arise at any time, but they’re far more likely to come about as you get older. Health problems like cancer, heart disease, and musculoskeletal disorders can all force you into early retirement. You may also experience COPD as a result of working in certain environments, or from your own personal habits. You can learn more about the lung condition in the Sensoronics guide on COPD.

3.       Family commitments

For most of us, family comes before everything. That may mean that you’re forced to take early retirement in order to look after a sick family member, or someone who needs round-the-clock care. In this case, you may receive benefits from the government to see you through – but for many people, early retirement is the simpler solution.

4.       Job dissatisfaction

If you were really hoping you’d be able to stick out your job until retirement, this might not be possible if you hate what you do. A Gallup poll found that 50% of workers in the US are non-engaged, while 20% are actively disengaged in their jobs. Job dissatisfaction can arise for a number of personal reasons, and working in the same job for too long is one of them. You may feel forced to take early retirement for the sake of your mental health.

What to Do if You’re Forced into Retirement

As the above factors are largely out of your control, it’s important to make sure you have a solid retirement plan in place from as young an age as possible. You simply never know when an incident may arise that will force you into early retirement.

If you’ve recently retired for reasons beyond your control, there’s usually no need to panic. You’ll just need to immediately adjust your spending habits to account for your lack of income. Consider your mortgage, your car payments, the luxuries you treat yourself to. It may be that you need to minimize these costs where you can to continue to live comfortably.

If you can help it, you should also avoid taking your money out of your retirement plan too soon. It’s likely that you’ll be able to get through a short-term financial crisis without needing to withdraw everything you’ve saved so far. 


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