The pandemic has wrought huge changes in recent months… not least in the way many employers have had come to terms with more flexible ways of working. So will this be a template for a “new normal” which will prove a boon to older people keen to boost their retirement finances by remaining at work past their planned retirement date
A new normal is certainly needed for many of us: an accompanying story in this newsletter – https://www.retireeasy.co.uk/news/facing-pensions-blackhole – reveals that over half of those saving for a pension will not have enough to meet their needs in retirement because of a drop in the value of their savings. Amongst those who see their savings falling short, the most popular plan is to carry on working: either full-time (36%) or part-time (35%).
The dilemma for huge numbers of people in their 50s and 60s is that doing the traditional 9 – 5 can become significantly onerous… and in some cases impossible, often for health reasons, but not least because so many of us acquire caring responsibilities in later life.
According to Carers UK, one in seven of the UK workforce is currently caring for a loved one, and more than 2.6 million have quit their job to care – with some 53% of carers saying that that they are not able to save for their retirement.
Working more from home and/or negotiating part time working could be critical to enabling many of us to combine work and care or failing health.
How to negotiate a more flexible future
Earlier this year I co-authored a book on the “Midlife Review” – discussed in this previous blog: https://www.retireeasy.co.uk/news/time-midlife-review. The concept has been gathering pace in recent years, with major employers like Aviva embracing the opportunity to have a no-commitment discussion with valued older workers with a view to retaining their talents in a way that suits both parties.
The old “presenteeism” way of looking at an employee’s value – how many hours they spend at work rather than their outputs – has come under serious scrutiny during the pandemic. It’s what an employee achieves that should matter to a business, not the number of hours they spend at their desk.
Flexible working can enable businesses to employ a far more diverse workforce… parents, those with disabilities and carers as well as older people who would like to achieve a better work/life balance. Flexibility can work both ways – with employers focussing their workforce efforts at peak times of the day as well hanging on to the skills and knowledge of older employees. And that’s before we get to the environmental benefits, which many employers are now keen to be seen to tout as part of their credentials…
So if you think that a “new normal” way of working might enable you to put off retirement in order to bolster your retirement finances, or enable you to combine work and other responsibilities, perhaps now might be the time to chat…