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Is your employer trying to force you to retire early?

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Did you recently retire due to pressure from your employer? Are you considering retiring earlier than you planned due to workplace pressures? If so, you may be the victim of workplace age discrimination.

Age discrimination is rampant in U.S. workplaces even though it is illegal. Dozens of companies were accused of purposely excluding older workers in Facebook employment ads late in 2017. Additionally, a recent survey published by the Health and Retirement Study that found over half of people who retired in 2014 were "partially or totally forced to retire."

How do I know if I am a victim of age discrimination?

No company wants to be accused of age discrimination, least of all proven to have discriminated against someone. They often try to hide their intentions within legal actions.

This often includes casual office banter about retirement. Jokes, nicknames, lack of quality or quantity of feedback, new retirement incentives or exclusion from new training opportunities may be indications of disguised discrimination. Your job may suddenly feel redundant, irrelevant or obsolete. You may also be laid off (often more than once), or fired and re-hired.

What struggles could you face if you retire early?

Although you may have one or more retirement savings accounts, your estimates for income needs and retirement age depend on steady growth and a predictable trajectory. Early retirement could not only significantly hurt your savings, it could have a serious impact on your health.

If you retire early, you could face the following obstacles:

  • Early withdrawal penalties: Many savings accounts have a minimum age requirement for savings withdrawals.
  • Pension, social security or Medicare ineligibility: You may not be entitled to full funding assistance until you reach a certain age, leaving you on the hook for paying more than you should.
  • Early death: Early retirement has been linked to a negative impact on overall health according to the 2017 Journal of Public Economics. Spending your pension also depletes benefits your surviving spouse may receive after your death.

Forced retirement is a frightening reality for many Americans of all incomes. With expected life spans expanding and medical care costs rising, it is important that your retirement plan stays on course. If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, learn about your legal options.

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