Sometimes, reality gets in the way of the beach house in Florida you planned to retire to when you turned 65.

A recent study by Voya Financial found that 60 percent of currently retired U.S workers said their retirement came before they had originally planned.

Head of Retirement Income and Advice Strategy at Voya Financial James Nichols said that many people are finding retirement is something that happens to them as opposed to something they choose.

Voya Financial surveyed 1,002 recent retirees. 60 percent said that the timing of their retirement was unexpected and 33 percent of those respondents said they left their jobs involuntarily. Of that 33 percent, 16 percent said the reason they had to retire was because of health changes.

The bottom line: the unpredictability of when retirement will actually occur means that the best course of action for modern-day workers is to save as much as they can, as soon as they can.

Los Angeles-based Financial Planner Ken Waltzer stresses the importance of saving early and often to his clients.

“Obviously, the more one has saved, the more prepared one will be for an unexpected early retirement,” Waltzer said. “But it must be budgeted just like any other item. Savings should be a budget item on par with housing and food.”

According to Nichols, saving is only half the equation. He said that when planning for retirement, you have to consider the type of lifestyle you want to lead in retirement, health care expenses, paying down debts–and account for inflation.  Retirees also have to consider how IRAs and 401k(s) will convert into income.

His best advice? Seek help from a financial planner to ensure you don’t outlive your retirement savings.

This article was sourced from USA Today’s Charisse Jones

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