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News and Views

Rethinking retirement

by Lindsey Nathan on 22 February 2018 09:34am 1896

There was a time when the word ‘retirement’ conjured up pictures of slowing down, putting your feet up and saying goodbye to usefulness. Not anymore.

We’re all living longer, healthier lives and today’s retirees want to stay engaged, stimulated, and involved in the busy swirl of life around them. Retirement can open doors and present opportunities that allow for even more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Working wonders

Whilst doing the day job many of us may dream of having time off for relaxing or pursuing our hobbies, but when retirement comes, the reality for some is that they miss work and the social aspects of it.

The good news is that retirement can offer the chance to stop working for an employer and move into a new line of work on your own terms. Around 32% of those working beyond state pension age are self-employed, compared with just 13% of younger workers.

Being your own boss can mean that instead of fitting your life around your job, you can look for work that allows you to pursue your interests and passions.

A fulfilling job can work wonders for mind and body, giving you a reason to jump out of bed in the morning and providing a sense of belonging. After all, research suggests keeping mentally and physically active well into later life has significant benefits for health and wellbeing.

What’s more is the general upward shift in the age of the population is requiring society as a whole to reconsider its attitudes towards older people and the value they can add in the workplace. It’s calculated that a third of workers will be over 50 by 2020, that’s up from 26% a decade ago and 21% in 1992; there’s no doubt that working longer is fast becoming the norm.

Take a creative look at your life's CV

If, as they say, variety is the spice of life then it’s not surprising that three out of five retirees who choose to stay in the workforce start a new career; they often look for jobs that are more fulfilling, less stressful and more flexible. It’s never too late to try something new.

Financial sense

There are myriad reasons to continue to work after retirement: besides keeping you on your toes and giving you a greater sense of purpose, it can provide an additional source of income to supplement your pension.

The stark truth is that many of us are not making sufficient provisions for our retirement. In The 100 Year Life, published by London Business School professors Andrew Scott and Lynda Gratton, it was calculated that a future centenarian who saves 10% of their salary throughout their working life won’t be able to retire on half their income until they are well into their 80s.

It may also be the case for some that their pensions aren't keeping up with the rising cost of living.

On the bright side, reaching State Pension age doesn’t mean you have to give up work; you can continue working and still receive your State Pension and you don't pay any National Insurance.

'Rewirement' not 'retirement'

Retirement is stretching out further than it used to as life expectancy is at record levels and we can expect a much longer period of healthy, active old age. It’s not about withdrawing from life, it’s about a new stage in life. This new mindset is leading us to reinvent our working lives rather than retiring from them, taking time to reflect on what’s important and how our work can have a real purpose.

If you like the idea of giving something back to society, but want an income while you’re doing it, why not consider becoming a Home Helper and make a valuable contribution to your community.

As a Home Helper for Close to Hand you set your own hourly rate or choose to offer your services on a voluntary basis.


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