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Planning Retirement Online

 Paid Work



Roll of moneyMany people want to work further into later life and even into retirement. People who live until 60 can now reasonably expect to live for more than a quarter of a century and  most of us are still relatively fit well into our later life. Therefore, we want an active lifestyle, whether we are retired or not. If we are retired, some of our time might be spent doing some paid work and there is also the benefit that it provides some extra cash for our retirement pot! Some of the other benefits of working are also listed in the main Work section, and they provide powerful reasons for people wanting to work in later life. Some people have to keep working, of course, particularly people still in their 50s, who are made redundant. People in this situation need to move quickly because the longer we are out of work the harder it is to get back into it.

More people, too, are starting their own business in later life and the number of new businesses started by the over 50s is increasing all the time. Running our own business enables us to earn some income, keep active and use our skills but on our own terms. Once people have finished their main career, many want to feel that they are in control of their lives and working for ourselves allows us to feel that.

The other aspect of later life that has changed recently is that there is no longer a default retirement age (DRA) at which people could be made to retire just because they had reached a particular age. Age discrimination of all kinds is now illegal, so if we are capable of carrying out our role at work, no-one can force us to retire. The decision when to go is ours, which is liberating but, at the same time, also makes the decision about when to retire more complex. Many people are staying on at work for very good reasons but others are doing it because it is the easy option and it saves them having to make a decision. This is a shame, because it means that some of us are not enjoying our later life as much as we might. To read more about the DRA, have a look at the ACAS website. To read more about the issues arising from staying on longer with our current employer, read our page on Staying at Work.

So there are many reasons for people working further into later life, rather than retiring at the age at which the company said that they had to. This work can very often be negotiated on a reduced hours basis, job share or some other form of part-time working arrangement.

Many more over 50s and retired people are doing some paid work in later life and, if anything, the opportunities are increasing. This section looks at some of the issues around paid work as part of our later lifestyle.

Full Time Work

DonWilde2.jpg (9403 bytes)If we wish to stay with our current employer for some time, rather than retire, then we can do now do that, as we have just seen. There are a number of people, however, who wish to carry on with full-time work but want to change direction (and employer) and do something completely different. If you are in either of these situations, read Don Wilde's Guide to Job Search and Finding a Job in Later Life. Don introduces himself on the first page and you will see that he is an expert in Outplacement and an experienced trainer, mentor and counsellor.

Armchair Advice Redundancy is also something that Don talks about, so if you have been made redundant or are worried about it, read his page on redundancy. You might also go to Armchair Advice, which is a  resource designed for those who are experiencing or have experienced, job loss through redundancy, termination or dismissal. It provides a range of assistance from legal and financial advice to emotional support. You can find expert advice and talk to people who know what you are going through.
For general help with coping with redundancy, on the legal side, finding another job and all sorts of other issues, go to Redundancy Help, where you'll find some excellent independent advice.

We should always bear in mind that the longer we are out of the jobs market, the more difficult it is likely to be to get back into it. So we should act swiftly, having thought about our options beforehand, if we wish to work full time in retirement. The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) is a useful organisation to look at.

Part-time Work

If we are retiring from work but wish to do something in retirement, the vast majority of us choose part-time roles. This is not always easy but, with the demise of the DRA it might mean that there are more opportunities than ever before. With more people wanting to work reduced hours, it could mean more part-time roles becoming available, with two or more people doing part-time what one person previously did full time.

To get our ideal part-time role might not be easy and we may have to be both patient and persistent, but sooner or later it is quite likely that we will find a part-time role that will suit us. To help with this process, have a look at our LaterLife guide to Part Time Work.

There are a small number of recruitment organisations that specialise in helping more mature workers. Take a look at Skilled People, which is a partner to LaterLife in the role of helping people in later life to find both full time and part time work.

Strategies for Finding Work

If you definitely want to work for someone else, you need to then think about how to go about getting a part-time job, always remembering what you want from work. Some strategies are as follows:
Speak to the employment agencies in your area. The larger ones usually have someone dedicated to part-time jobs and/or temporary vacancies and they are usually very helpful. Since the Age Discrimination legislation came into force at the start of October 2006, the agencies have to be very careful to treat people of all ages exactly the same so you have the same chance of gaining employment (whichever route you take) as anyone else.

  • Use your own network. More retired people get back into work through people they know than through any other single method.

  • Go to your local Jobcentre Plus and look there.

  • Look in the local papers.

  • Approach organisations that you know employ older workers. B&Q and Tesco have done for some time and now that there is Age Discrimination legislation in place, all companies will have to treat everyone equally.

  • Go to websites that specifically cater for older workers and/or part time jobs. Some examples are:

    Part Time Jobs Net,
    JobSite and
    Exec Appointments

  • Contact employers advertising full time positions and ask them if they would consider part time instead.

  • If you have senior management experience, one route may be that of non-executive director. There are some websites that will be of help to you if you do consider this route. Try Ned Exchange and Executives Online  and click on Non Executive Director Recruitment, where you can register as a candidate. Alternatively, joining a business start-up may be the ideal thing for you. If you contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Link, they may be able to help you with this.

  • Consider working from home doing something such as tale-sales. There are many organisations that employ tele-sales people both in offices and at home. By typing ‘tele sales’ into Google, you will be able to access them.

  • At the opposite end of the scale, many people like to get out and about. So a courier job may appeal, where you drive and deliver things around the country. Look at Red Goldfish and type 'courier' into the Job box. You might also contact some of the airlines to ask about couriering packets around the globe!

  • Look at our own Job Search and Working in Later Life page where there is some good information and links to other pages and recruitment organisations.

You might want to write yourself an Action Plan and then follow it. Think about:

· Organisations to cold contact
· Papers and magazines to buy
· Your network
· Local employment agencies to register Internet sites to look at
· Other local avenues to explore

Whatever your plans are, write them down and then work through them within set timescales. You are much more likely to get your dream job if you have a plan and work to it.

Recruitment Organisations

There are a small number of recruitment organisations that specialise in helping more mature workers. Take a look at Skilled People, which is a partner to LaterLife in the role of helping people in later life to find both full time and part time work.

Skilled is a specialist recruitment agency for people, aged 50 plus, who are looking for full time, part time, contract or voluntary positions with employers who appreciate the benefits which experience can bring to the workplace. They don't charge jobseekers anything for their services, so if you are looking for a "proper" job, need some extra income, or are just bored, visit them at

Take a look at's article here on laterlife, too.

Below are some other very useful organisations for people over 50 wanting paid employment:

Apollo 2000 Recruitment Services Apollo display the Age Positive recruitment award of excellence and find that the employers they deal with are also very positive at about the contribution and value of mature workers. They are predominantly in East Anglia.

Forties People specialise in helping mature people find work in the office environment. Positions range from PA’s, Secretaries to Administrators, Receptionist to Post Room Staff. Their aim is to find the perfect person for every position and the perfect position for every person. They cover the Central London area from their London Branch, with the Watford branch covering Watford and surrounding areas

Government 50 plus resources

There are a number of useful Government sources of job and pensions information for the 50 plus age group - take a look at the Third Age Employment Network, for example. Also, go to to see all the work that was done during the Age Positive iniative.

Ageism in the Workplace Research

ACAS has published research on ageism in the workplace - click on the survey results to view it.

You may also be interested in our sections on voluntary work and starting your own business.

Back to introduction to jobs and work in later life.

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