June 19, 2006

60% want to work after retirement age

I am interested by an HSBC survey of 20,000 adults around the world,
published in April 2006, which shows that 60% of all adults intend to work
after they have "retired", although many are hoping to work part-time. Most
people who retire say they are as busy after retirement than before. While
this may not be accurate, the fact is that total leisure becomes boring to
many people after a while. The majority of retired people in many countries
give time to organisations or others in the community, and when finances
are tight, they may look for modest financial reward to help things along.
20 of the survey said that they intended to carry on working in a paid
capacity to give them something meaningful to do. The survey shows that
people want to have a free choice about whether to work or not after a
certain age.

In any case "retirement age" is a last-century idea. In future in many
nations it will be a crime to discriminate on the basis of age, to force
someone out of a job simply because they are "too old", when they are fit
and able to do the job as well as anyone else.

We also need to face the fact that people are ageing less slowly than in
previous generations and may feel far more energetic at the age of 75 than
their parents were at 60.

Expect more people like my grandmother who worked part-time as a doctor
until she was 83 - not for money, but because she enjoyed it along with the
golf and bridge games she played most days.