Focusing on Retirement

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Thought I’d “borrow” again from the ideas.ted.com site which published a very interesting Blog recently on the topic of retirement and its potential effects on the brain. It reports on emerging research that seems to suggest that retirement could lead to a decline in your cognitive function. However, its not quite as simple as that and many people thrive in their retirement. This Blog and the accompanying TED talk by Professor Ross Andel of the University of South Florida in Tampa make a number of suggestions about what you need to be aware of and what you need to do to stop the decline in speed of processing one of the main indicators of the ageing of the brain. One thing he suggest is to forget the idea that retirement is a permanent holiday and look at it more as a personal renaissance. I am therefore beginning to look forward to rediscovering myself!

On a more general note the reality of retirement in the UK in the future may be a more complex situation than we face currently.

In 2017 the BBC Money Box Programme made a series of programmes on the topic of The Death of Retirement which is worth spending some time listening to.

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Why are UK Citizens Overwhelmingly Negative About Getting Old?

‘The Perennials’, a study carried out in partnership between IPSOS MORI and the Centre for Ageing Better, reveals that just three in ten (30%) of UK adults say they are looking forward to later life. Half (50%) say they worry about getting old.

The Report called “The Perennials: The Future of Ageing” looks our ageing societies and the challenges and opportunities this presents. The Ipsos Mori study was global in that it was conducted and illustrates attitudes to ageing across 30 different countries.

Their research shows that, globally, there is a great deal of negativity towards later life, with financial and health concerns prevalent. However, much of this negativity is propagated by a media that does not do enough to portray later life as a time of potential. It is, therefore, perhaps, little surprise that when describing those in old age, people commonly reach for terms like ‘frail’, ‘lonely’.

However, as Ben Page, the Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI states this fails to do justice to the full diversity of experiences in later life.

The over-50s now command nearly half of all spending power in many countries.
People in their later years are increasingly packing their life to the full. For many, their reality doesn’t necessarily align with the labels the media are giving them. They are not slowing down but taking on new challenges, roles and responsibilities. Those with money to spend are smart about spending it.

They’re not digital natives but they are more connected than we give them credit for. They’re not withdrawing from life, but demanding more from it and from their societies.

Yes, old age is a time of great hardship and there are very real issues such as poverty,
isolation and ill-health that needs urgent attention. However, there is also another side of later life – one that we don’t hear about often enough because it doesn’t fit with ageist and lazy media stereotypes.

For a breath of fresh air visit the Report website at https://thinks.ipsos-mori.com/the-perennials-the-future-of-ageing/

To download and read the full report CLICK HERE

When Should We Start Discussing Retirement?

At the start of December, a landmark event for those planning to retire occurred almost without anyone noticing. The 6th of December was the first day that someone turning 65 was no longer eligible to collect their state pension but would have to wait; see https://www.yourpension.gov.uk/when-will-i-get-it/ for more specific details. The State Pensionable age is going to rise in phases until between 2037 and 2039 it equalises at age 68 for all.

If you are a UK citizen and interested in finding out when you will be eligible for your state pension you can also go the following Government page: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age

On the 6th of December, the Centre for Better Ageing published a new report indicating that a significant number of people are worried about leaving work which highlights a lack of planning and preparation for retirement across society. Unfortunately, that’s not a new finding but what is worrying is that the poorest prepared are those on the lowest incomes. It also shows that women tend to engage in planning for life after paid work even less than men.  Very concerning when you consider the current Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign and the continuing plight of women born during the 1950’s.

The Centre for Ageing Better is calling on employers to consider the role they play in improving peoples’ transition into retirement and to provide their staff with a supportive environment in which to discuss, plans and prepare for retirement.  The government should also play its part by promoting existing guidance and support employers to have more open workplace discussions about age and provide employees with the tools they need to plan their transition towards retirement.

You can see their full report at  https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/news/transition-to-retirement-rapid-evidence-review