How to Prepare for Forced Retirement as An American

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By Jacob Maslow

In America, we like to think that we control our destinies. We choose our careers, set our own goals, and retire when we want to. But the truth is that forced retirement is a real possibility for many of us. 

Whether it’s because of downsizing, a change in company policy, or simply reaching the end of our career paths, there is any number of reasons why we might find ourselves out of a job and face retirement sooner than we’d like.

So what can you do to prepare for forced retirement?

Who is at Risk of Forced Retirement?

First, it’s essential to understand who is most at risk of being forced into retirement. Generally, older people closer to the traditional retirement age are more likely to experience forced retirement than younger workers. Additionally, those in industries that the pandemic and other economic downturns have particularly hard hit may also face early retirement.

Many people might be forced to retire due to an injury or illness. Those who are disabled may be forced into early retirement to protect their health and well-being.

Involuntary retirement can be tough to handle, but you can take steps to make the situation more manageable.

Financial Planning for Forced Retirement

The most important thing you can do to prepare for forced retirement is to create a financial plan. A solid understanding of your expenses, income and other financial obligations will help you make informed decisions should you face early retirement. Make sure to review your investments and savings accounts as well. Consult a financial planner or professional if you need help creating your financial plan.

Understanding the laws and regulations concerning forced retirement in your state or country is also essential. Check with your local labor department for more information on this topic.

Even if you’re not concerned about forced retirement, there will come a time when you will need to retire.

The best way to ensure a successful retirement is to start planning now. Create a budget and begin investing in your future today so that you can enjoy the retirement you deserve later on.

Update Your Resume

If you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, now is the time to dust it off and update it. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. Ensure your skills and experience are up-to-date, and your profile is set to “public” so potential employers can easily find you. You should also start networking now to make some critical connections before looking for a job.

This is especially important if you find yourself let go due to the failure of the business — you will need to let people know that you are actively seeking employment quickly.

If you have reached the mandatory retirement age but don’t want to stop working, you will need to update your resume and start looking for new positions. Age discrimination is illegal, but it still happens — make sure your resume stands out from the crowd and showcases your accomplishments without emphasizing your age.

Look Into Retirement Benefits

Be sure to investigate any retirement benefits you may be eligible for. Look into Social Security, pension plans, and other potential sources of income. If you’re nearing retirement age and think you may be at risk of being forced to retire, look into programs that can help with job training or relocation assistance.

You might be able to take advantage of tax benefits as well. Speak with a qualified financial planner or accountant for more information about this.

Finally, ensure you have a solid understanding of your rights and obligations as an employee if forced to retire. Knowing the laws can help protect your retirement savings and ensure that you receive all the benefits to which you’re entitled to. Early retirement incentives can also help soften the blow of an unwanted job change, so be aware of what you may be eligible for.

Consider Starting Your Own Business

Forced retirement can be the perfect opportunity to finally start that business you’ve always dreamed of owning. This could be a great way to keep yourself busy and make extra money if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. Of course, starting a business is not for everyone, so be sure to research before taking the plunge.

If you have a hobby that you are particularly passionate about, this could be a great time to turn that passion into a business. Consider selling products or services related to your hobby, offering classes or tutorials, or even just blogging about it.

Regardless of how you choose to fill the time after being forced into retirement, make sure that you stay connected with friends and family and take care of yourself.

What to Do If You Feel Unfairly Forced Into Retirement

If you feel your employer has forced you into retirement against your will, it’s essential to get legal advice immediately. 

Depending on the laws in your state or country, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against your former employer. An experienced lawyer can help you understand and protect all of your rights. 

If your former employer has violated any laws, you must take action to ensure they are held accountable.

Conclusion: Plan Ahead for Forced and Mandatory Retirement

Whether you are forced into retirement due to company closure, downsizing, or reaching the mandatory retirement age, it’s essential to plan. Update your resume and start networking early on so you can easily find new job opportunities. Research any benefits or incentives that may be available to you and make sure you understand all of your rights as an employee.

If you feel unfairly forced into retirement, get the legal advice you need to protect yourself. Age discrimination is illegal, and you should fight back if your rights have been violated.


What is forced retirement?

Forced retirement is when an employee is forced out of their job against their will, such as through downsizing or experiencing an injury that renders them unable to continue working.

How to prepare for forced retirement?

You will need to develop a solid financial plan as your first step. Look into retirement benefits you may be eligible for, such as Social Security and pension plans. Investigate any early retirement incentives offered in your state or country.

Can you be legally forced to retire?

There are several reasons why an employee may be forced to retire. Depending on the laws in your state or country, you may have some legal protection from age discrimination.

What is the difference between mandatory retirement and forced retirement?

Mandatory retirement is when an employee reaches a certain age and is required to retire. Forced retirement typically occurs sooner than the mandatory retirement age and is usually due to downsizing or an injury.


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