Most Older Workers Are Forced Into Retirement: 4 Ways to Deal

According to research data compiled by Voya Financial, more than 60% of workers nearing retirement age are forced into retirement.

Some employees are forced into retirement due to ageism, to make way for younger employees or due to declining personal health.

Dave Bernard, now age 59, had previously planned to retire at the age of 62.

Bernard was forced into early retirement in 2012 after he lost his job as a sales manager, he told MarketWatch.

Forced retirement devastated Bernard. His unplanned retirement also forced him to reassess his own personal self-value as a person.

To stave off depression and self-pity, Bernard learned piano and took up gardening.

According to Lynn Dunston, a certified financial planner in Denver, Colorado, depression is a major concern for those forced into retirement.

“Depression is the No. 1 emotion that comes up,” said Dunston.

“Your identity disappears suddenly. Your pride gets hurt. You’re used to having influence in the community and then it’s gone.”

While most workers never see a forced retirement coming, there are many things they can do to cope in the aftermath.

Coming back

A forced retirement can be devastating. Still, there are numerous things you can do to cope.

Here are four strategies as recommended by financial experts at the Motley Fool.

No. 1: Reassess budgets

Aside from bills, food and utility payments, seriously differentiate between what you need, and you want.

You could downsize your cable bill. Or sell your car, especially if you primarily used it for work.

Consider downsizing your home. Cut all non-essential expenses.

No. 2:  Be conservative with savings

Some financial analysts believe that you should save at least half a million to a million dollars for retirement.

Whatever you have saved up, make sure to strategically ration out withdrawals based on current financial needs.

No. 3: Consider Social Security

You are eligible to claim Social Security benefits by age 62 is most circumstances.

You may lose a portion of your benefits by claiming early.

Still, it is a far better option in the absence of a regular paycheck.

No. 4: Secure medical coverage

Take care to ensure you have adequate medical coverage after a forced retirement.

You become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

If you had work-provided health insurance, COBRA allows you to continue that coverage.

However, since employers pay most of the premium at work, you will have to pay all of it.

You could also work in some part-time capacity for as long as you can.

Bernard secured part-time work in a wine club and maintains a retirement-related blog.

He advises former workers to adjust slowly.

“My advice to those who face involuntary retirement is don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” he said.