IS 75 THE NEW 65?
Post-retirement age working is on the rise. Unretirement can provide you with the opportunity to do the work you’ve always wanted to do, keep you ‘in the game’ or provide a source of supplementary income.
2011 saw the removal of the compulsory retirement age. This, coupled with older people living longer, healthier and more active lives, has led to a significant rise in the number of people working beyond state pension age – around 1.4 million people – a figure that is set to rocket over the coming decades. Especially when you consider that by 2030 there will be a 50% rise in those aged over 65.
NEED VS NECESSITY
For some of us, continuing to work past the age of retirement is driven by a need to gain a sense of value and purpose in our later years. We simply don’t feel ready for retirement or to relinquish our role in life. Enjoying the mental stimulation and social interaction work brings, we strive to continue using our knowledge and experience in the ‘real’ world. No pipe and slippers, thank you very much.
For others, whilst this may still be the case, there is also a financial necessity that drives our decision to keep working. A recent report published by the Ready for Ageing Alliance entitled The Myth of the Baby Boomer highlights the media-fuelled misconceptions surrounding our generation. We’re not a property wealthy, early retiring, pension rich set who continue work selfishly at the expense of the younger generation. This is simply not true. The reality is that nearly 2 million people aged 55-64 do not have any private pension savings. In addition, ILC-UK research on mortgage debt, published in 2013, revealed that two in ten households owned by 60-64 year olds had outstanding mortgage borrowing on their main residence. For some of us, the harsh reality is that retirement is a luxury we simply cannot afford, yet.
Whatever our personal circumstances, one thing that all older workers have in common is a search for flexibility, with the majority seeking to downsize their duties to part-time hours. In fact, 39% of over 50s not currently retired, said that working part-time or flexible hours before stopping work altogether would be the best way to retire. Easing gently into full retirement will not only help financially, but will aid us in preparing ourselves for the massive change in lifestyle that retirement brings.
If you are thinking about unretirement, here are a few obvious and off-the-wall thoughts and suggestions that may help when considering your post-retirement age options.
BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Butcher, baker, candlestick maker? The decision is yours. More and more people are starting businesses or becoming self-employed in later life. The number of self-employed people aged 65 and over has more than doubled in the past five years.
For people over 50, self-employment or starting your own business can be a way of using your knowledge and skills to earn money or turn a hobby or passion into a way of life. It also allows you to work flexibly and decide on your workload. For example, you may choose to work part-time or only during certain times of the year if that’s what you want.
However, it is crucial that you don’t romanticise the idea of creating your own empire. Before starting your own business, it is imperative that you create a business plan, look at finance options and check taxes and benefits. Age UK Islington can help.
Are you a dab hand at DIY? Lots of homeowners (especially younger ones) dread the thought of fixing anything and are happy to pay for odd jobs they need to strike off their ‘to do’ list. A little networking skill and a great job, executed at a reasonable price (with a guarantee) will have the phone ringing off the hook. In no time at all you will be the one to call when know-how is needed.
A career in the health and social care sector can be hard work, demanding and challenging. However, it is also rewarding, satisfying and worthwhile. Working in the care sector will give you the opportunity to help many different people lead fulfilling lives. You could choose to support older people and work as a home care assistant or in a residential care home. Other jobs include working with children, families and young people and people with physical or learning disabilities.
For many people coming to work in the care sector can be a second or third career. There is a huge range of opportunities open to you and there are entry routes available for people of all ages and all levels of experience. The most important qualities are an interest in people and a respect for what makes them special.
STRIKE A POSE
Grey it appears is the new black in the world of modelling. As brands need to reach an older audience with their imagery, the demand for 50+ models is growing. Leading the way is Grey Model Agency, which specialises in men and women who have lived a bit and have the laughter lines to prove it. Ugly – which specialises in character models – is another agency worth approaching. Models can earn can earn anything from £200 to thousands of pounds for a couple of days’ work. It can’t hurt to try!
GIVE GOOD ADVICE
Of all the post retirement age careers, consulting is certainly one of the most popular choices. After spending a lifetime accumulating skills and knowledge, it only makes sense to use your experience and expertise to advise other busineses.
Start by working out which skills you possess are of value to others. Depending on your profession, you are likely to need certain certifications as well as credentials for credibility and marketing purposes e.g. process consultants should have Lean or Six Sigma certifications or rankings. Other industry specific credentials or certifications are desirable and sometimes a requirement.
Certainly the network you have established over the years must be maintained and expanded. Unfortunately many who are nearing retirement stop networking and this is a huge mistake if you plan to go into business for yourself.
ANSWER THE CALL
Put your telephone manner to the test. Organisations and companies still need experienced and qualified people to pick up the phone and represent their interests with intelligence and empathy. Sometimes at call centres and in some instances in the comfort of your own home. Jobs can include sales and telemarketing, customer service, technical support, undertaking surveys, market research and taking reservations.
PAWS FOR THOUGHT
If you are a rambler at heart and an animal lover to boot, dog-walking can be a surprisingly lucrative occupation. According to The Guardian, dog walkers earn a fifth more than the average UK salary (and a lot more in London) by working just two weeks out of every month. You’ll need to be as fit as a butcher’s dog, but you can earn £14 per dog per hour if you go the distance.
A more sedate option may be pet-sitting pampered pooches, whose owner’s prefer to have their pets in the safety and familiar surroundings of home, rather than an unfamiliar boarding kennel.
HIT THE ROAD
If you love driving, have you ever thought about doing it for a living? With the arrival of the much publicised Uber App, becoming a cab driver in London is a relatively simple affair. Once you register at www.uber.com, you will be sent a free smartphone with the driver App loaded onto it, so you can start working and accepting fares immediately using your own vehicle.
Fancy driving a black cab? Traditionalists will need to do the Knowledge which can take a while, with the purchase of the vehicle to consider as well. However, the good news is the iconic black cab is fighting back against Uber, launching an App of its own that offers discounted fares which could bring them back up to speed.
EARN WHILE THEY LEARN
Teaching or tutoring can be a great way to create additional income. In constant demand, many teachers enjoy the stimulation of continuing part-time in a classroom environment as a supply teacher, without the irksome responsibility that marking homework brings. Some retired teachers switch from child to adult education classes which can bring a more engaged and eager audience.
Private tutoring, from maths to music, is also a great way to continue flexing those teaching muscles. Giving you the flexibility to choose your hours and the type of students you wish to tutor.
For those without a formal teaching accreditation, there are classroom assistant positions available, majority of which are part-time.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
Retail and grocery retail jobs don’t pay high salaries, but they do offer flexible schedules. Plus, they exist everywhere. There are heaps of part-time positions which will give you the flexibility to work the hours that suit you. In addition, many older people working in this sector enjoy the day-to-day contact they get with the general public.
Taking things a step further, many retirees opt to open their own retail business. The internet makes it easy to start a new online business because of the relatively low overhead costs of selling and advertising online through sites like eBay or Craigslist. Alternatively, you can set up shop in a rented space, or rent a stall at a market to try out the viability of the business before committing to a physical space.
If you enjoy your current occupation, why not consider continuing to work part-time for your existing employer. Since employers hate to lose valuable employees, your boss may jump at the chance of keeping you on, even if you require a less intensive or more flexible schedule. This will allow you to keep contact with coworkers and continue in a job that you always enjoyed – but this time, according to your schedule.
The key to making this approach work for you is to discuss it with your employer at the earliest stage. Give them plenty of time to think it through and realise its benefits. Your annual review is a great time to start the discussion.
Once you reach state pension age, you can begin to receive your state pension even though you carry on working. It will be counted as income and is taxable in the same way as your earnings.
If you carry on working past state pension age, there are incentives for you to take your state pension later (deferring your claim). If you delay your claim you have two possible options:
- get a higher weekly State Pension for life later on
- take the amount you deferred as a taxable lump sum with interest and then get a normal State Pension.
You don’t need to pay National Insurance on your earnings after you reach state pension age. To prove that you’re exempt you’ll need to give your employer a ‘Certificate of Age exemption’. This is normally sent to you if you’ve ticked the relevant box on your State Pension claim form.
Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk for further details or talk to Age UK Isligton on 020 7281 6018