How long do you want to work for?

Some recent employment figures revealed some rather incredible numbers in that 76% of those aged 16–64 were working – that’s the joint highest level ever, and up 0.7% on a year ago!

Some recent employment figures revealed some rather incredible numbers in that 76% of those aged 16–64 were working – that’s the joint highest level ever, and up 0.7% on a year ago!

Which I suppose begs the question… ‘How long would you want to continue working for’?

How long do you want to work for?

Taking a closer look at the numbers it has revealed some rather interesting stats:

  • Most of the increase is being driven by women aged 50–64
  • At the start of the decade, 58.5% of women aged 50–64 were in employment – now it's 68.1% (which was exactly the male rate of employment in the 50–64 age band 19 years ago!)
  • The number of men aged 50–64 in work has also risen to 76.8% (up about 5%).
  • Those aged over 65 have hit record levels too for both men and women.

…and we think there are several reasons why this increase is happening:

  • The rise of state pension age (SPA) has undoubtedly had an impact. As recently as April 2010, the SPA for a woman was 60. By October next year, both men and women will share a SPA of 66.
  • The ending of compulsory retirement ages has encouraged us to have much longer working lives.
  • The gradual disappearance of final salary pension schemes has forced some people to revise their retirement plans.
  • Economic conditions have played their part too. With real (inflation-adjusted) wage growth sticking at virtually zero over the last 10 years, has limited the scope for retirement savings.

Working for longer can be very beneficial for your health though continuing to work in a stressful environment is likely to have the opposite effect!

Top tip: The key is to be able to choose when you want to stop work, rather than having that decision forced upon you. To be in that fortunate position to be able to stop when you want to, make sure you have you done everything you possibly can in terms of planning for your retirement.

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