Cost of living crisis

Signs of more economically active people over the age of 50

Older people in the UK are increasingly returning to work, according to new research[1]. The cost of living crisis is now affecting many pensioners drastically. The research also found that the proportion of older people who are self-employed has more than doubled over the same period. It is clear that many older people are choosing to return to the workforce and this trend is likely to continue as the population ages and more people reach retirement age. The findings from the research identified economic activity levels among the over- 50s are now at their highest level since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Impacting pensions

Analysis of official statistics appears to show the first signs of a return to the long-term trend of more economically active people over the age of 50 – a decades-long trend which, it said, was reversed by the pandemic. Spiraling inflation, a cost of living crisis and turbulent financial markets impacting pension funds are causing some people to unretire and find work again. there has been an increase in economic activity (those in work or looking for work) of 116,000 among the over-50s in the past year. More than half of the increase is being driven by men over the age of 65.

Retiring comfortably

In some ways, the pandemic forced the hands of many and gave them an opportunity to trial retirement. An early retirement can o(en seem like a dream when you’re stuck in the thick of the daily grind but, for many, giving up work abruptly can also result in a loss of structure, social connections, and purpose, which can leave people feeling lost at times. The current economic climate means that some people who thought they could retire comfortably during the pandemic are now having to unretire and find work again to bring in some extra income and top up their pensions while they still can. If you’re an older person considering a return to work, there are a number of things to think about.

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you’re up to date with the latest skills and technologies. Older workers may need to brush up on their computer and social media skills.
  • Consider flexible working arrangements. Many employers are now offering part-time, flexible, or remote working options which can be ideal for older workers.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Older workers o(en have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth.

Returning to work can be a great way to stay active, engaged and earn some extra income. With a little planning and preparation, it can be a smooth and enjoyable transition.

From the AHR Guide To Retirement Matters

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  1. Analysis by www.restless.co.uk – Economic activity levels amongst people over the age of 50 hit their peak of just over 11 million just before the pandemic in the three-month period from December 2019 – February 2020. Since then, we have seen a decades-long trend reverse, with economic activity levels of workers aged over 50 falling by as much as 223,000 during the pandemic.

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