Forced into early retirement? How to stay afloat without social security.
Applying for Social Security before full retirement age (FRA) has consequences, namely that you will be stuck with a lower monthly benefit for life. This is why some seniors specifically aim to wait until the FRA files a claim for benefits to avoid this fate.
But what if you are forced into early retirement? You may have every intention of working until your late 60s or early 60s, only to find yourself unemployed in 62 years old. At that point, you might feel like you have no choice but to claim Social Security in order to pay your bills and avoid depleting your savings.
In fact, you may have some options for delaying Social Security even after your job-related paycheck is withdrawn earlier than expected. Here are a few worth checking out.
Social Security Explanation, TLDR Edition: The 8 things you should know about your benefits
1. Get a part-time job
You may have difficulty finding full-time employment if you are laid off at work or if health problems prevent you from working 40 hours a week or more. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work part-time.
Today’s workforce is increasingly flexible and remote, so you may have more options for finding a job that’s easy to manage, even if you’re struggling with limited mobility. If you are able to earn a high enough salary, you may be able to get by for a while on that income alone, allowing your Social Security benefits to increase.
2. Downsize your lifestyle
Losing your job could force you to file for Social Security immediately — unless you’re able to make major lifestyle cuts that keep your expenses down. If you find yourself in this undesirable scenario, think about ways to reduce your lifestyle. You could sell a bigger house and move to a smaller one, dump a car once you’ve run out of work, and start cooking all the meals at home instead of dining out.
To be clear, you will still need some returned to live. But if you scale back your lifestyle for a few years, you might get by with modest withdrawals from your 401(k) or IRA. This way, you won’t have to rush into social security.
Verification of the reality of social security: The average couple earns around $2,800 per month. Could you live from this?
3. Monetize your home
If you’re forced into early retirement and have a bigger home, there may be an alternative solution to downsizing: monetize it. You could, for example, rent out part of your house and use that income to pay your bills. You can also consider creatively renting out parts of your home, such as letting someone park in your driveway for cash.
A stress-free jostle? Earn money by renting your car, boat, bike or swimming pool
Don’t Assume Social Security Is Your Only Option
When you’re forced to retire earlier than expected, it’s natural to assume that filing for Social Security is your only option. But in reality, you may have many more choices to explore. It’s worth doing what you can to delay applying for benefits, as the wait could lead to a series of higher monthly paychecks for the rest of your life.
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