It's an unavoidable fact that everyone grows old and at some point will have to retire. I'm getting ever closer to the big 3-0 and dreading it every day as I leave my 20s behind and am constantly plagued by the fact that I haven't as yet started saving for retirement or set up a pension.
With a significant rise in the number of people working beyond the state pension age and worrying about their futures, the UK is now facing a new retirement reality.
As I head towards my 30s I worry constantly about what I should do for my own pension, yet get no further with arranging one. I just don't know what to do for the best and keep getting conflicting advice! I have a property that I rent out, but is this enough? I highly doubt it! So what should I do? Any advice would be very well received…
As we live longer, the retirement age is likely to go up, although the government has yet to inform us what it might be. 70? 80? 90 even? This may seem ridiculous to those reading my blog, yet experts have warned that babies born this year aren't likely to be able to draw their pension before their 80s. So will they be expected to work until this age, unless they have a big bank balance of course? I certainly can't imagine working as a recruitment consultant at the age of 80, in particular due to the fast paced nature of the job - a very scary thought!
The good news is that this hot topic has reunited The Apprentices' Margaret and Nick for the BBC 'When I'm 65' series. Part 1 was aptly called 'The Town That Never Retired.' It was this programme that that got me thinking yet again about my future and my LACK of pension planning.
In a nutshell, they're taking some folk out of retirement to see how well they'd cope. Sheila, a 73 year old nurse and midwife is being sent back to a medical centre; a plumber, electrician and plasterer are all put to work on a building site and others are having a go at brand new careers in an estate agency, a chocolate factory and a busy restaurant.
I recognise that coming out of retirement is absolutely not the same as carrying on working in a job where you can keep pace with new skills as you go along. Being good at a job usually has nothing to do with age, unless we're talking significant manual labour, when it's blowing a gale, like the poor chaps on 'The Town That Never Retired.'
A colleague's blog recently cited the results of a poll conducted by Saga, which found that people in their 50s did in fact want to continue working beyond the age of 65, but 70% wanted to do it part time. This shows that people who are working into their 70s are not doing this purely due to financial need or poor pension planning (ahem, like me if I'm not careful). It is because they want to.
Many people enjoy working and want to continue rather than retiring at 65 - I know many excellent interim contractors over retirement age who not only absolutely love to work but are the best of the best.
I, however, know that when I retire I want to enjoy time travelling and with family - not because I don't enjoy my work - I absolutely love my job - but I say again, I can't imagine working as a recruitment consultant at 80! At the end of the day, it's all about personal choice and with that said, I think I'd better get saving!