When you reach retirement age, then you retire, right? Oh no
Record numbers of over-65s are at work, according to a stunning release from the Office for National Statistics published on 12 September.
And that word ‘record’ should not be taken lightly: not only did the number of people over 65 in work hit a record level (1,468,000 people) in the three months ending June 30, but the more than quarter-on-quarter increase of 173,000 was the highest on record.
Aging is not the same.
Now, we’re all living longer these days—and healthier for longer. 65 and over, you might think it’s not what it used to be. Therefore, these days the state pension starts a little later, in recognition of these trends.
So some of the things that worked before 65 can be expected, compared to – 20 or 30 years ago – 20 or 30 years ago.
But that doesn’t explain the current rocket increase in over-65 employment. Or why the number should have hit a record high this quarter.
Perhaps we’ll know a little more at the end of September when the Office for National Statistics releases its second Over-50s Lifestyle Survey, a section that examines what drives people to leave or rejoin the workforce.
Are we seeing the cost of living at work?
Commentators, however, have their own take on things. And it’s a view I find compelling. so true Persuasive.
The reality is that for the vast majority of people, early retirement has been a long-held dream. It’s what people do.
In my social circle, a large number of people did exactly that. Yours too, perhaps. So why on earth would he go back to work?
Maybe some people, I know, are starting to feel the pinch.
And many will probably do this, perhaps, when the cost of living crisis begins Really Biting recession or no recession, I expect the number of over-65s in the workforce to continue to rise – and I’m not alone in this view.
No. Because, in times of labor shortages, employers make it easier for older workers to join the workforce.
Every little bit helps
And as it happens, the proof of this hypothesis is readily apparent in the figures from the Office for National Statistics.
In which labor force sectors are the most employed people over the age of 65? The answer is: part-time work, and part-time self-employment—and often in those industries and professions, part-time work is easier to implement.
It provides a method of proof for the cost-of-living hypothesis: it’s not people returning to full-time work – it’s people working some part-time work to supplement their income, because pensions aren’t stretched far enough.
It’s different from the picture in newspapers and magazines of rich silver-haired couples strolling hand-in-hand on tropical beaches to those over 65s.
The reality may be stacking shelves in your local supermarket.
Champagne Lifestyle – Wine?
what to do?
For starters, pull up your latest pension forecast – or if you’re in career retirement, if these are only sent out occasionally, request one or log in and see the numbers in real time.
Importantly, such projections provide an estimate of future pension income expressed in 2022 pounds. So it’s very easy to see how far your money will stretch.
Naturally, don’t forget to add any state pension you receive to your projected income. Again, getting a prediction of this is a matter of asking.
Throw the numbers in a spreadsheet, knock together a basic budget and see what your future looks like.
Is it champagne – wine?
Penury is not pleasant
Does the future look exciting? If very good.
But if the prospect of working before age 65 doesn’t appeal, it’s not great – especially if your personal circumstances mean your usual career path isn’t an option.
Shelf-stacking – or something similar – can mark it later.
Very, I know. But I’m willing to bet there are more than 1,468,000 over-65s in the workforce that can easily find examples of this.
Build a second income stream
Again, what to do? Saving more, to build a cash buffer, may be one way forward. But last year we saw how quickly inflation can spiral upward, eroding the purchasing power of savings.
Investing more, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense – and for me, if you do it in the form of a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or ISA, the investment objective is to maximize income. flow, rather than capital growth.
Manage your investments to deliver an income stream, and see the month-by-month impact you’ll have on your future lifestyle.
Homebrew is okay – I like a glass myself. But you can’t beat the taste of knowing you can actually buy a champagne alternative if you want.