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Retiring early in a recession, should I?

Retired old man with coffee and shades

A recession can be harsh, and it can be difficult to maintain the standard of living to which you've become accustomed.

If you're thinking about retiring early, you're probably wondering if it's even possible in a recession! The simple answer is yes you can but you'll need to be mindful of it and create a plan that will help you make the most of your retirement earnings.

In this article, we'll provide some tips on how you can retire early in a recession and make the most of your retirement savings. So if you want to retire early or if you are just curious to know more on this topic, read on!

What is a recession?

A recession is defined as a period of negative economic growth. This means that there is a decrease in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or the value of all the goods and services produced in an economy. In other words, people are buying less stuff and businesses are losing money.

A recession can be caused by several factors, such as

  • An increase in interest rates

  • Decrease in consumer confidence

  • An increase in the unemployment rate

  • A decrease in business investment

The last recession in the USA began in December 2007 and it ended in June 2009. During this time, the unemployment rate rose to a peak of 10% and the stock market fell by about 50%. So, as you can see, a recession can have a major impact on people's lives.

Is it a good idea to retire early in a recession?

There is no easy answer to this question. It depends on a variety of factors, such as your age, your financial situation, and your ability to find another job if you need to. But retiring early in a recession can be risky but possible.

For example, if you have a good job with a steady income and you're close to retirement age, it may be easier for you to weather the storm. But if you're younger and still building your career, it may be more difficult to find another job if you lose your current one.

In general, though, it's important to remember that a recession is temporary. It may last a year or two, but eventually, the economy will rebound and things will start to improve. So, if you're thinking about retiring early in a recession, it's important to have a plan in place.

What are some tips for retiring early in a recession?

So now that we have understood what a recession is and whether it is a good idea to retire early in a recession, let's take a look at some tips that can help you make the most of your retirement savings.

1. Review your budget:

The first step is to take a look at your budget and see where you can cut back on expenses. This will help you free up some cash that you can use to help fund your retirement. Reducing your expenses can be difficult, but it's important to remember that a recession is only temporary. So, if you need to make some sacrifices now, it will be worth it in the long run.

2. Invest in safe investments:

During a recession, it's important to be mindful of your investment portfolio. You may want to consider investing in safe investments, such as government bonds or CDs (certificates of deposit). These types of investments are less risky and can provide you with a steady income stream during retirement. You can also invest in precious metals like gold and silver, which tend to hold their value during economic downturns.

3. Get the most out of your retirement savings:

If you're already retired, make sure you're taking advantage of all the benefits your retirement savings offer. For example, if you have a 401(k) or IRA (Individual Retirement Account), be sure to take advantage of the tax breaks they offer. You can also consider using your retirement savings to purchase an annuity, which will provide you with a steady income during retirement.

4. Find extra sources of income:

It is always a good idea to have multiple sources of income in retirement. This can help you weather the ups and downs of the stock market and provide you with a steadier stream of income. One way to do this is to consider working part-time during retirement. You can also look into renting out a room in your house or getting involved in a home-based business. Or if you have skills, you can offer freelance services online.

5. Delay claiming Social Security:

One of the best ways to stretch your retirement savings is to delay claiming Social Security benefits. You can begin collecting social security as early as age 62, but you will receive a smaller monthly benefit than if you wait until full retirement age, which is currently 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born. If you can wait until 70 to claim benefits, you will receive the largest possible benefit.

6. Get professional advice:

If you are not sure about what you are doing or what will be the right thing for you, it is always a good idea to seek professional help. Many financial advisors can help you plan for retirement. They can offer guidance on how to invest your money and how much you will need to save. They can give you budgeting ideas so you can make the most of your retirement savings.

7. Stay disciplined

Retiring in a recession can be a challenge, but it is possible to make it work if you are disciplined. Stay focused on your goals and don't let the volatile stock market or economic uncertainty discourage you. Keep saving as much as you can and investing in safe, income-producing investments. The more you prepare now, the more likely you are to enjoy a comfortable retirement later on.


Retiring in a recession can be tough but if you know how to manage your finances and make the right decisions, it is possible. In this article, we discussed some tips on how you can survive retirement in a recession. We hope you found this information helpful and that it will help you make the best decision for your retirement.


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