Fears mount over cliff edge end to working life

Fears mount over cliff edge end to working life

Workers aged 50 plus want a phased retirement because they fear missing out on the mental stimulation and social engagement of work, a poll from Aegon revealed.

A survey of 1,007 UK workers aged 50 plus earning £20,000 between November 30 and December 6 2018 found most want to stay in work to keep mentally active.

This 'Fear Of Missing Out' syndrome means half of workers aged 50 plus polled by Aegon favoured a phased transition into retirement to give them the best of both worlds, by allowing them to balance their health and wealth.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: "It is interesting to look at why we are working later in life.

"For today's over-50s it goes beyond earning an income and is more about the increasing evidence to suggest that it is good for not just your wealth but your health. 

"Workers see transitioning into retirement as having the best of all worlds – benefitting mentally and socially from work, continuing to receive an income and enjoying more leisure time. 

"Work is fulfilling for a variety of reasons and is a big part of a person's identity, which makes stepping away from it a more difficult decision.  

"Our research shows that workers over-50 appreciate that working provides so much more than just financial security.

"It gives us a purpose, a sense of self-esteem, keeps our brains nimble as well as offering social interaction. These are all seen as important and the key reasons people want to blend work and retirement, before stopping altogether."

The research found that 44 per cent cited having a sense of purpose was the main reason they wanted to continue to work in some capacity, while 39 per cent said it was for social engagement.

The need for additional money to supplement a pension was felt to be a major consideration for 42 per cent of workers, with more women than men citing this as a reason for continuing to work beyond retirement.

In fact, nearly 48 per cent of women claimed this reason versus 39 per cent of men.   

Interestingly, the thought of stopping work altogether and completely retiring was a concern for 27 per cent of workers over 50, with one in 10 of them saying they were anxious about the thought.

In addition to this, 19 per cent were candid enough to admit that beyond the initial excitement, they thought the novelty of not working would be short lived.  

Neil Liversidge, managing director of West Yorkshire-based West Riding Personal Financial Solutions, said: "I can completely understand this. I am 55 and have no intention of retiring at all if I can possibly avoid it.

"I am not saying that I still want to be averaging 70 hours per week at age 85, but if I’m coming in for 25 hours, I will be quite happy.

"People don't just work for money. I enjoy being with other people, my staff and clients, so I get it when people say they want to maintain social interaction.