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Over HALF of over 55s are still working – because they don’t feel sufficiently secure to think about early retirement, research has revealed. A study found that despite the approach of their golden years, an alarmingly large percentage cannot yet see the light at the of the tunnel.
The report revealed that although two thirds stopped working full time in their long term career by the age of 55, most have merely reduced their hours or taken on part time work.
It also emerged the most common ‘late career’ choices are cleaning, stacking shelves in a supermarket, cashier work or doing the accounts for local businesses.
Unfortunately, seven out of ten of those polled said they were worried they would struggle to get by during retirement without working.
As well as the financial implications of giving up work altogether, 55% of adults with parents aged 55 plus believe they work to stave off boredom.
A spokeswoman for Skipton Building Society said:
“It’s really interesting to see, from our findings, how social perceptions of retirement are shifting.
Whereas it used to be viewed as a bit of a full stop at the end of working life, many people clearly view it as the beginning of a new era.
“What we appear to be seeing is the emergence of a new breed of retirees who, experiencing good health and longer life expectancy, are playing an ever more vital role in our society – whether that be through taking on different kinds of jobs or doing other valuable activities which make the UK a better place to be for all of us.
“What is sad is to see that some people are continuing to work beyond what used to be considered retirement age because they have no choice, largely because of economic factors, or due to the fact that they’re not prepared for the new free time they have on their hands and don’t want to feel that they no longer have a contribution to make.”
The survey shows a third of people aged 55 and over continue working because they don’t like to be left home with the other half all day long, while four in 10 like to feel they are making a contribution to society.
Just under a third of people in this age group are working to fund their luxurious holidays, while the same percentage are simply addicted to work.
Three in 10 continue working because they have few hobbies with which to fill their time.
But for 31% their reason for working is clear- they want to have enough inheritance to pass down to their children when they pass away.
Other reasons cited for continuing work well into the retirement years include keeping their finger on the pulse with the latest technology, being afraid of slowing down, and enjoying interacting with younger people.
Six in 10 older people simply like keeping their mind active.
When questioned how they feel about their parents working at such a late age, 27% say they would actively encourage it, however 42% would be worried about their parents aging more quickly than they should if they settled into retirement too early.
The spokeswoman continued:
“Clearly, the concept of retirement is changing, as are the requirements of probably the fast growing social group.
”Individuals have their own vision of what they want from their later years and why, but factors like finances have a major bearing on whether they achieve that vision or not.
”The economic environment is undoubtedly getting trickier for retirees, with doubts over the eventual value of pension pots and future State provision.
”This is balanced by positive improvements in health and wellbeing, which means people naturally have higher expectations of their retirement years.
”For that reason, we would encourage everyone to plan early for their retirement, and seek professional advice in making sure they have the right provisions in place.”
TOP REASONS FOR WORKING AGED 55+
1. To keep their mind active (58%)
2. Boredom (55%)
3. Afraid of slowing down (53%)
4. Need the money (50%)
5. To keep fit and healthy (46%)
6. A reason to get up every day (46%)
7. Want to make a contribution to society (37%)
8. Like interacting with younger people (33%)
9. Don’t want to be at home with the other half (33%)
10. To save up an inheritance fund (31%)