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By 16th October 2015Louise's Column

Over-50s changing the way they work in later life

If you are approaching your 50s, you may be considering your retirement options. Perhaps you want to work flexible hours and work when it suits you. You might want to be ‘your own boss’ and set up a business or become self-employed. Or you may want to know what your options are for working after retirement.

Nearly two-thirds of over-50s workers would consider retraining so they could work longer in retirement. Findings from research conducted by MetLife[1] found 63% of over-50s are looking at potentially lengthening their working lives, with 50% considering learning new skills to continue in full or part-time employment, while 13% would look to retrain so they could launch their own business.

Working patterns in later life
Traditional working patterns in later life are changing dramatically. The research among all adults shows around 71% of all workers say they would consider working after retirement with just one in three (31%) expecting to retire completely from full-time work.
The decision to work past traditional retirement ages is not entirely financially driven, with 23% of over-50s saying they enjoy working and don’t feel ready to retire, while a further 30% would miss the social interaction that work provides, and 29% say they feel that work gives them a sense of purpose.

Not financially well prepared
However, the study found 55% of working over-50s admit they are not financially well prepared for retirement. The change in working patterns was highlighted in an independent report from Dr Ros Altmann CBE, ‘Flexibility in Retirement – Planning for change’.

The report by Dr Altmann, now the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, highlighted the tremendous opportunity of how the change in working patterns can dovetail with pensions planning, flexible approaches, new products and more creative methods of funding retirement. It’s also ironic that many over-50s are considering retraining to become more flexible at work just as pensions are being changed to be more flexible.

Source data:
[1] Research conducted online between 11 and
12 March 2014 among a nationally representative sample of 2,531 employed adults aged 18+ by independent market research firm Consumer Intelligence

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