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Road Biking


When I look around and talk to people over the age of 50 (and I do so frequently), there is no question that more and more of them are either choosing, or being forced to look at part time work or project work or volunteering as a way of earning an honest crust or to keep occupied. In fact former pensions minister Ros Altmann is even suggesting that we consider looking at a Swedish style 3 day week!

In this decade, we are seemingly attempting to re jig the way that we operate. Many of us have spent years piling into the workplace; offices, factories, hospitals, schools but after a taste of working from home, turning up to a place of work a couple of times a week, it appears that we wish to explore new ways to approach our work. We are right at the beginning of the process with little idea of where it will end up and organisations are struggling to keep up.

Of course most of us are still employed and working full time in our late 40’s and 50’s but there is a definite change and lets face it everyone’s time will come. The days of ‘sticking with it’ until you retire and your pension kicks in are fast disappearing. In our 60’s the number either out of work or in part time employment appears to increase dramatically. It has become commonplace to have discussions around the days and hours we work, such is the change, particularly amongst baby boomers, post pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics has produced a recent report which concludes that record numbers of people in their 50s, and older (both male and female) are in part-time work, with around one quarter of workers in their 50s working part-time.

In what has been hailed as a paradigm shift in how we view work and retirement, the data reveals that 3.6 million older people are working part-time in the UK: a record high and a 12% increase since 2021. It is also a 26% increase in the past decade and a 56% increase in the past two decades.

Significantly more men aged 66 and older are now working part-time than women: an increase of 22% on 2021 figures. It is clear that whereas my parents generation worked, often for the same organisation for many years, suddenly retiring with some kind of pension and a carriage clock at 65 (if they made it that far), our lot are trying to find ways to keep the money coming in for as long as possible and then constructively fading away.

There are opportunities out there, but just now it is about being flexible and not necessarily holding out for that perfect, fulfilling, life affirming role.

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Unknown member
Sep 26, 2023

Very interesting. Thanks.

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