The idea of leaving work for good in your 60s to live off a pension made sense in an era when we were not expected to live more than a few years beyond retirement. Retirement, as it has been historically defined, has always been seen as a distinct event; a cliff edge to dive into a new identity – a new way of being. In this blog, Acumen ponders whether we might have reached the age of no retirement.
The conventional notion of retirement is not how we live our lives and never really was. We are used to hearing about the demographic time bomb and our ever-growing older population. People are now living longer, healthier and more productively than ever before. Some of us will expect to live into our 80s and, for the lucky ones, much of it in reasonably good health. So that begs the question: do our current retirement expectations need to shift?
Anna Dixon, head of the Centre for Ageing Better, certainly thinks so. Writing for The Telegraph, Dixon said:
The age of no retirement doesn’t mean working until we drop. It does mean thinking differently about how and when we stop paid work and what we can do to increase our chances of a financially secure, active and fulfilling later life. The key of course is preparing and planning.
Post-work life not meeting expectations
Research commissioned by Aviva and carried out by BritainThinks suggests that many people’s experience of post-work life differs considerably from their expectations. The research shows that most people preferred to work for as long as their health would allow them. They noted that working gave them a sense of purpose, added structure, sustained social connections and provided opportunities for learning and new experiences.
Dixon added: “We need to accept that working flexibly later in life is not just a financial necessity for some but, if the work is fulfilling and supported by employers, it can actually improve people’s quality of life. Work can give a sense of purpose, add structure, sustain social connections, and provide opportunities for learning and new experience.”
Strong financial foundations for retirement
Prior preparations for retirement need to be put in place and a large proportion of that should include laying strong financial foundations during our working lives. Building connections outside work may also be useful to foster extra-curricular opportunities, such as part-time or voluntary work, community engagement and learning new skills and hobbies.
Acumen recommends thorough investment planning and offers retirement planning advice to help create the best pension plan for you. Angela Maher, Managing Director at Acumen, said: “Making the right investment choices prior to retirement is extremely important. We recommend that our clients begin the retirement planning process at least 12 months – preferably sooner – before their retirement date, so the various options can be probably evaluated.” She says.
To discuss your retirement options with one of our dedicated team, please contact us today on 0151 520 4353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.