Working in Later Life
Working in Later Life has become one of the big issues of our time. On the one hand removal of the Default Retirement Age has put the choice when to retire into our own hands. On the other hand many over 50s, especially if made redundant, struggle to find full time work, unless they become self-employed or start their own business.
Working in retirement is also becoming the norm these days. Longevity is such that people are living well into their 80s now and we are generally much fitter for much longer than we ever have been in the past, so an active later life is both possible and desirable. Working as part of that active later life is something that more and more of us are doing. Of course, many people have always carried on working , but more of us are now carrying on for much longer and are also looking to do some form of work in retirement. Relatively few people go back to work full-time once they have retired, but many people work on a part-time basis, either in paid work or in the voluntary sector and this trend looks likely to increase during the foreseeable future.
More people, too, are starting their own business in later life and more and more over-50s are taking the entrepreneurial route. As well as earning some money, it allows us keep active and utilise our skills but, at the same time, maintain control of our own lives and escape the corporate world.
Working on without Retiring
Now that the default retirement age has disappeared and no-one can be made to leave work purely on how old they are, more and more people are choosing to stay with their employer for longer.
Work provides us with a number of good things, apart from the financial rewards. Some of these might be:
So there are many reasons for people wanting to stay at work for longer other than the obvious financial incentive, but whatever the reason many of us are now staying on rather than leaving at 63, 65 or whenever the organisation's 'retirement age' was. More and more employers are happy to negotiate for older workers to work on a reduced hours basis, job share or some other form of part-time working arrangement. For more thoughts on this, go to the Staying at Work page.
Many over 50s are also made redundant and just cannot afford to retire. It's important that, if we are made redundant that we try to get back into the workforce as soon as possible; the longer that we are out of work the harder it becomes to get back into it. If you have been made redundant or are in the future there is a lot of help in this section of the website for you. Go to our page on Paid Work, read it and follow the links that you think will help you.
Working in Retirement
There are a number of reasons why people want to work in retirement or to stay on in their current employment for longer than they might have done in the past. Money is the most obvious reason, but by no means the only one and maybe not even the most important one for many people. There have been various surveys carried out over recent years that show more people work in retirement for reasons as well as or instead of money. People who do voluntary work clearly don't do it for the money!
So working in retirement plays a big part in many people's later life. As with most things to do with later life, LaterLife has a lot of help and support to offer people if they are looking for some sort of work once they have retired or if they are looking to stay on later at their existing pace of employment. So read the rest of this page and follow the links in order to find out more about Working in later life.
If you want to retire, or have already retired, but feel that you would like to carry on with some form of paid work, go to our Paid Work section and look at the information that we have for you. The first page of this section looks at some of the issues connected to working in later life and then there is much more information, depending on what exactly you are looking for. The latter includes:
Many people start their own business once they retire from their employed career or if they are made redundant. Indeed, more people over 50 now start their own business than any other age group. Self-employment provides all the benefits of work but, in addition, we are in control of our own life. So, for example, if we don't want to work on Fridays, we don't have to and if we want time off to go to our grandchildren's' sports days, we can do that, too. It's relatively simple to register as self-employed, although it's not something that should be entered into lightly. So go to our section on Starting Your Own Business to get some information on how to go about setting up your own business.
Voluntary work can provide the same benefits as paid work - without the money, of course! People want to stay active and to feel that they're giving something back to the community, so they choose to do voluntary work for those reasons and for some of the other benefits that we have already mentioned. Our Voluntary Work section provides another of our LaterLife guides, to give you help in thinking about voluntary work and then in finding it. We also provide information about a number of organisations that might help you achieve your goal of voluntary work that you will both enjoy and that will help you make a difference to people.
Getting the Balance Right
If we want to work in later life, and we are doing it for reasons other than financial, it's important that we think about getting the balance right between work and the rest of our retirement. Think about those other things that you might want to do in your later life and then balance them against the desire to keep on working. As with many other things in life, it's easy to drift into things without thinking through the consequences. In the case of retirement, we might find that we have more commitments that we really want in order for us to have a fulfilling retirement in every aspect of our life. So make the amount of work that we do in retirement a conscious decision and plan it properly.
Whether we want work that is active or passive, mental or physical, indoors or outdoors, there are opportunities for us. It might be that we want to stay on longer with our current employer or we might want a break and do something completely different. We might wish to run our own business or to just do a day a week in the voluntary sector. Whatever it is that you think you wish to do, read the rest of this section of the website to get some thoughts and ideas. You might also like to see the results of a survey that we did here on LaterLife about how people feel about working longer and in retirement. Click on the Survey Results to see them.
|Back to Laterlife Today|