Should you carry on working past retirement age?

Our recent retirement survey showed that many people were planning to work past retirement age, so should more of us be considering this route?

According to Ros Altman, the pensions minister, the answer is a definite yes. She sees the traditional idea of retirement as a complete break from work as outdated and thinks we should be looking at it as a phase of ‘less’ work instead.

“The traditional idea of stopping work as soon as you reach a ‘pension age’, whether that be state pension age, or the age at which a private or company pension starts, is now out of date,” she has said. “There is no official ‘retirement’ age anymore, even though many commentators refer to the State Pension age as a ‘retirement age’”.

There’s much evidence that working later in life is an increasing trend, and our survey certainly backs this up. It looks like there’s a shift away from a standard retirement age and towards whatever becomes practical.

And this might not be a bad thing at all: aside from the obvious financial advantages, research suggests that continued employment (as long as you’re healthy) is good for our health and wellbeing. A report by the Institute of Economic Affairs showed that depression and physical decline are more likely in retirees than those who continue working, and the negative effects increase as the number of years in retirement increases. At the same time, the benefits of playing an active role in society and being mentally active in older age are widely known.

Find out more: Are over-65s choosing to stick with the 9-5?

There are more than a million workers aged over 65 in the UK. This number has increased by more than a third since 1995, but that’s nothing compared with the change coming our way in the next couple of decades.

According to a YouGov survey in January 2015, nearly half of over-50s intend to work past 65, with only 15% of non-retireds saying that they wanted to stop work altogether at that age. That means nearly 5 million over-50s intending to work past 65. The survey also revealed that nearly two-thirds of over-50s don’t believe that working full time then stopping altogether is the best way to retire; there’s a preference for scaling back to part-time work first.

Could there be a retirement revolution under way?

Find out whether you have enough money to retire with our handy retirement calculator or take a look at some top tips for boosting your income, whether you decide to keep working or not, with our handy guide.

This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.

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