I was on BBC Radio Oxford today along with Occupational Psychologist Dr Hayley Lewis. Kat Orman, the presenter asked:
Do you plan to stop working when you reach retirement, or will you carry on?
A study had suggested that workers over the age of 65 are likely to be responsible for at least half of employment growth in the UK, in the next decade. This could stem from a desire to stay active or be born out of necessity with research showing that the coronavirus pandemic has forced 16% of workers over 55 to change their retirement plans.
You can listen to the interview here, and I’ve made some notes below.
Dr Hayley spoke about some people working due to financial issues. For others the focus is on their personal values. People don’t want to spend 20-25 years doing nothing. More of us are living longer and mostly healthier lives. There’s no need for people to give up work unless they want to, and some organisations recognize there is a lot of knowledge amongst their older employees and so are are encouraging people to stay.
I said that the main focus of my work is to inspire people over 50 to make the rest of their lives, their best life. Of course many people have no choice but to work, but there are other people who have now paid off their mortgage, their children are settled and they can now do what they have always wanted to do.
Some people now focus on some things that they wanted to do in their teenage years, and were encouraged to concentrate on something else such as accounting. I’ve got a client who always loved history, trained in law, because it was a family thing, and since retired she’s doing more volunteer work, but she took a degree in history and she’s written a book on local history and several articles. I think it’s really interesting, as we age that, yes, some people get another job, but for others it’s more about how can I get meaning in my life, which doesn’t necessarily have to be paid work, but it might be part of what they do.
The pandemic has had a huge impact on all areas of our lives and a lot of people have sat down and re-evaluated, what they want. They’ve refocused, and perhaps they are thinking: well now is my time to do something that really appeals on a deeper level.
I did refer to how there can still be discrimination with older people applying for work, but also some people at 50+ have negative views on a younger interviewer.
There was then an interview with Mark, who used to work for Radio Oxford. He knew he wanted a different type of work. After leaving he first got a job delivery for a supermarket, but found it too physically demanding. He is now driving a community bus and loves it.