"Sudden Retirement" is a growing reality among baby boomers and is often just as scary and troubling as divorce or the loss of a loved one. Whether it's a buyout, company closing, or job elimination there are a myriad of emotional and financial issues that can impact a person’s overall well-being when they are forced into retirement. Therefore, it's important to have specific strategies and resources in place to deal with it.
In 2010, 41% of retirees stopped working earlier than they expected. The most common reasons for retiring ahead of schedule were:
Extrapolate those numbers across 78 million boomers and we have a serious issue on our hands, my friends. Financially speaking, baby boomers will no longer be saving toward retirement, they'll be dipping into savings for personal and healthcare needs and adding significant weight to our already burdened Social Security system. Then there are the immediate emotional issues they have to deal with such as replacing their work identity, filling their time with meaningful activities, and staying active as well as socially connected. Many of which they took for granted when working.
In a case of sudden retirement, there are both immediate and long-term issues that should be considered. From the short-term perspective it's important not take the situation too lightly. An individual’s initial reaction may be to downplay the event and his or her feelings about it. That can make it easy for family and friends to play along with comments like, "Well, you're better off anyway," when in fact the situation can lead to serious repercussions including the dark side of retirement.
In order to address the situation, people can try to shine a positive light on the situation with questions like:
From the longer-term perspective, becoming more aware of the stages of grief is a good starting point. As I mentioned earlier, sudden retirement, like divorce or the loss of a loved one, can be a difficult transition.
Sudden retirees typically progress through a series of grief-related stages, which usually take the form of an uncomfortable emotional experience that may even cause symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, and irritability. This is usually followed by a period of working through it by developing a retirement-based identity.
Finally, once the situation has been accepted, barriers are removed, and they catapult back into a routine and a sense of normalcy.
Overall, the sudden retirement trend is sure to continue and, whether you or a loved one are called to deal with it, it’s much more than just a financial transition.
Looking for help with a sudden retirement?
Consider searching for a retirement coach near you
1) Share your feedback.
We are always interested in what you have to say about the work we do and your experience with it, along with personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences about retirement. Simply email us using the contact form.
2) Sign Up For An Integrated Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Webinar
It’s the only program where we help you develop your own retirement planning strategy that includes both the personal and financial side of things. The fun part is, it’s offered in a group format, so you can not only learn from retirement experts but also from each other. To learn more about the program and upcoming dates, email us
3) Develop A Plan For The Non-Financial Aspects Of Retirement
4) Consider Making An Impact As A Certified Retirement Coach
Did you know there is a growing group of people who have been trained to help people plan for the non-financial aspects of retirement? Too often, new retirees learn things the hard way and waste some of the best years trying to figure it out, which is why we created the Certified Professional Retirement Coach designation. It’s a certification that positions you as a retirement expert, equipped with skills, tools, and resources to help people make a better transition. Click here to learn more, and take the first module free with this link.
About the Author:
As the Retirement Activist, Robert Laura created the Retirement Coaches Association and RetirementProject.org. He is the leading voice for the retirement coaching industry and has pioneered many tools and resources to help people prepare for the non-financial aspects of retirement including the Certified Professional Retirement Coach CRPC training and designation.
He is the author of several books and guides including Naked Retirement and Retirement Rx. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist for Forbes.com and Financial Advisor Magazine. Robert is a sought-after corporate trainer, speaker, consultant, and financial expert witness. He can be reached at here.