An article in the Financial Times on 25th June 2014 provides us with a glimpse into the future. Given the rise in longevity and improved health in old age, over-65’s are expected to be able to continue working for longer. Combined with existing state pension policies this means that the percentage of older adults living in absolute poverty is projected to fall sharply. By 2024 older adults are likely to be healthier, wealthier and living as a couple.
What does that mean in terms of careers? If we are able to work longer, then it’s quite possible that we might be looking to work increasingly flexibly; perhaps part-time, working more from home or on a freelance basis. Such a style of working would offer increased earnings potential whilst also allowing for a slower and more relaxed pace of life. This may be appealing to many of us as we get older.
The days of working until until we turned 65 and then retiring are gone. Perhaps what we are looking at now is a gradual reduction in our working hours over time. There are many benefits in keeping active both mentally and physically as we get older – with improved health levels and potentially higher levels of income, our quality of life can actually improve.
Employers will need to review their flexible working policies. Individual employees should be encouraged to think ahead and to have a ‘post-retirement’ career plan. How will you develop your skills and experience to meet this new opportunity?