If you are forced to retire today, how long can you go on with the same lifestyle without taking any credit?
Can you go for 10 years? 5 years? Or is it less than 5 years?
Everyone retires; we only differ on when we do it.
You might have chosen a retirement age for yourself. You believe it to be the perfect time to begin your retirement life.
But when it comes to retirement planning, nobody does it until they realize that retirement is often forced. Even voluntary retirements that we see are sort of imposed by the situations of the retiree.
Do you know how many possibilities are there that can force you to retire?
Here is the list of possible events that could force you to retire, even if you don’t want to.
- 1. Health Issues
2. Job Insecurity
3. Unfavourable Family Situations
5. Occupational Burnout
These events are probable and uncertain because of which riding off into the sunset may never come true for you. Let’s see what each of them has under the hood and how they can ambush you.
1. Health Issues
We have opened doors to junk foods, fast foods, antibiotic injected chickens, and vegetables washed with pesticides among other good things. These things have become our lifestyle.
Ultimately, we have chronic illnesses around us. And the rate of it happening is alarming.
Statistics say: more than 7.1% of the adult
population in India are having a chronic diabetic condition; its rate is increasing. And 10 lakhs of them die every year.
Health issues such as these require constant care which becomes impossible unless you retire. Considering this is just one medical condition, what are your odds of being free of everything else?
Are you prepared for a forced retirement on the event of sudden onset of illness?
2. Job Insecurity
As discussed in one of our recent articles—5 Threats That Can Destroy Your Long Term Wealth Creation—job security is a non-existent philosophy in today’s world.
Employee layoff has become a common trend today; especially, but not limited to, the IT industry. Companies are downsizing to reduce operational cost by employee layoff.
On the other hand, a majority of the companies prefer low-cost easily trainable fresh graduates to do the job of experienced ones. So finding a new job is almost impossible unless you are fresh out of college.
What happens next is your faux voluntary retirement, in other words—a forced retirement to save what’s left of your dignity.
Imagine a forced retirement months after just starting your retirement planning or without one. Only if you had started the retirement planning a little earlier you could afford a contingency plan.
3. Unfavourable Family Situations
The family could be your biggest support when other things force you to retire. But when you have a bad situation in the family you will have no option but to choose family over your job.
In case an unfortunate incident causes your spouse or one of your family members to permanent disability things will not be the same. Objectively speaking, it will be worse to manage if it is your spouse who is also chipping in for the family.
The incident: This is the story of Mr Jagan. On a fateful day, his spouse was met with an accident that resulted in a spinal injury. His wife was left paralysed from the waist down.
Jagan had no choice but to leave his job to take care of his wife. Fortunately for them as a silver lining in the dark, they were able to find and work on projects as freelancers from home. Even though it is not the same as before, it helps to keep the family running. At least, hopefully only till their son graduates in a couple of years.
But technically, it is a forced retirement that was not planned for.
You will have to deal with retiring early, medical expenses. And a failure in one of these will take a toll on the emotions. Though the chances of such unfortunate incidents are slim to none; if it is to happen, how prepared are you to cope with?
Accidents are unforeseen, sudden, and will have immediate effects. They can be fatal or non-fatal, either way, they cause disability.
Luckily most of the times, disabilities are temporary. But in other times, even though rare, they are permanent. Particularly if the impairment affects you in carrying out your regular duties you will be forced to retire.
The sad thing about accidents is that they don’t have to be a serious nasty road accident to force you to retire early. Even a small injury that impairs a vital organ can force you to retire than an almost fatal accident.
For example, for a software engineer, a leg injury as severe as the one that leads to amputation may not force him/her to retire.
However, a simple wrist fracture by slipping in your own home could result in restricting your wrist and finger movements. And as per statistics, you have higher odds of getting injured indoors than by motor vehicle accidents. But this, in any case, does not take away or minimise the chances of meeting with an accident anywhere.
What can you possibly do when your disability forces you to retire?
5. Occupational Burnout
Yes, you read that right. Occupational burnout is not just a “tired of working” scenario but something more than that.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognises occupational burnout as a syndrome that should be treated. If not recognised early on, this can pose a serious threat to force you to retire.
What is occupational burnout?
It is a type of prolonged untreated exposure to work-related stress which results in mental and/or physical exhaustion.
Majority of the population all around the globe lack awareness of this retirement forcing threat.
Especially in third world countries like India, occupational burnout is not even recognized as an issue.
Unlike diseases that depend on genetics or place of living, and accidents that depends on probabilities—occupational burnout is not a thing you can avoid. Since the cost of living is increasing all around the globe, the high-stress work environment is very common. It is because of this you will be forced to retire without even realizing the actual underlying cause.
It could result in young age Alzheimer’s disease, Psychological disorders, Insomnia, Addiction to Substances, and Stress-induced heart conditions among several other things and eventual forced retirement.
10 Ways to Face the Forced Retirement
These events that force you to retire are sure uncertain and they come out of the blue. But you can always be prepared to face them strategically.
Here are some strategies that you can make use of.
- 1. For Health Issues—Get Critical Illness Insurance Cover: These insurances pay a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of any listed critical illness.
2. For Job Insecurity: You can keep yourself employable and on demand all the time by being updated with the new trends in your profession.
3. For Accidents—Get Accident Insurance cover: It can complement and compensate for medical expenses that are not covered by Health Insurances
4. Sign up for Annual Full Body Check-up: They help the diagnosis and cure of critical illnesses in the early stages.
5. As always “Prevention Is Better Than Cure”: Practice a healthy lifestyle. A PubMed Central study says brief intense cardio every day reduces risks of Heart Disease by 21%.
6. Begin your retirement planning as early as possible; it will give you the precious time to accumulate the retirement corpus you need.
7. Redirect your additional or any unexpected surplus income towards your retirement plan investment.
8. Avoid luxury hand-to-mouth lifestyle by creating 6 months, Emergency Fund. Never rely on your next month’s paycheck to keep things running.
9. For Occupational Burnout—keep yourself out of the rat race by keeping a personal track of professional progress. This will reinforce your will to keep going.
10. FIRE up your retirement: Hit retirement before it hits you by planning your Early Retirement.
You are going to spend a good part of your life in retirement.
Some of us are unlucky to spend even more time in retirement due to forced retirement. The longer the time in retirement, the larger the retirement corpus you are going to need.
Without proper retirement planning, your retirement life can become a life sentence which you cannot escape. Especially when the retirement is a forced one, it will hit you off guard. You can, however, start planning for your retirement at the right time. The first best time to start retirement planning was when you first received your pay-check. If you have missed that, the second best time is NOW.
Are you going to take control of your retirement that is coming towards you? Or are you going to let time and chance to decide for you?