New research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 60 percent of retirees retired sooner than planned.

What if you had to retire tomorrow?

An unexpected retirement in your 50s or early 60s, whether from layoff or illness, can be a life-changing event. What should you do?


Discuss your retirement aspirations with your significant other. “You may have different notions now that retirement is a reality,” says Lisa Hutter, regional wealth planning manager for Wells Fargo Private Bank in White Plains. Review your finances. How much debt and savings do you have?


You don’t have to go back to a similar job. Find a position that bridges the gap between the extremes of all work and no work. “This helps retirees adjust by letting them retain their worker identity while not being completely immersed in the workforce,” says Rob Pascale, co-author of “The Retirement Maze.”

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While you can take Social Security at 62, waiting boosts your income. “If you delay your claim beyond full retirement age, your benefit grows as much as 8 percent a year,” says Roger Cowen, owner of Cowen Tax Advisory Group in Hartford, Connecticut.

Don’t rollover your 401(k) or 403(b) into an IRA. “You can take distributions from an employer plan without penalty as of age 55, if you are separated from service,” says Stephanie Genkin, a certified financial planner in Brooklyn.


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