The media recently has been working itself into a veritable frenzy with speculation about whether or not the Government can reverse the “great unretirement” or to encourage workers to delay their retirement.
It’s not a new theme, as plenty of commentators (including, ahem, myself) have seen this coming down the tracks for some time now, as an ageing population leaving many employers short of staff coincides with pension pots failing to deliver a comfortable retirement for many.
Brexit has compounded the labour shortages, as have the long-term health and financial impacts of Covid, while the recent wobbles in the pensions sector following the mini Budget and eyewatering hike in the cost of living is encouraging many older people to review their plans. In journalistic terms, we have a “perfect storm”.
What nobody quite anticipated was the stalling in life expectancy that was always meant to accompany the rise in State Pension Age, currently under review. Or what has been dubbed the “Great Unretirement”. According to government estimates, about 630,000 people have left the UK workforce since 2019, and employment figures are still not back to where they were before the pandemic kicked off in early 2020.
With so many tectonic plates moving at the same time, the question many people in their 50s, 60s and even beyond will now be asking themselves: when can I actually retire?
Enter the “Midlife Review” or, as the Government likes to call it, the “Midlife MOT”. Basically, the MLR should look at all angles of a person’s life in the round as they head towards retirement – health, wealth and work. From there YOU can decide whether or when you can afford to leave, go part time or take on a less onerous role.
This is at the heart of the Government’s plans to keep older people economically active for longer. But what is it, and how might it help YOU decide your future?
Several years ago, I co-authored a book called “The Midlife Review” with Steve Butler of pensions and employee benefits experts Punter Southall Aspire, and we looked at the concept from the angles of both employer and employee. And this is critical, because if there is a disconnect between the two parties over what should be an amicable understanding, then it simply won’t work.
For employers to retain the skills of older people for longer, and for older people to carry on working healthily and happily, both sides need to understand each other’s perspective, give some ground and try to make it work.
If you’re somewhere north of 45, technically, you’re middle aged now. Hopefully that’s a phrase you’re comfortable with. It’s often been regarded as a negative, but why should that be? All the research shows that your best years in terms of life satisfaction, happiness and even creativity may well be ahead of you.
But to make sure you really do make the very most of the years to come, being “your best you” as positive psychologists would call it, you might want to start planning. Now.
That’s why the Mid Life Review can be a timely chance (or series of timely chances) to pause and reflect. An opportunity to inspect your finances, health and career, map out where you want to get to in the future and plan the best route to arrive there.
If you’d like to know how the Midlife Review could help steer YOUR future, click onto this link to the longer version of this article: http://theageactionalliance.org/2022/12/28/are-you-in-control-of-your-flight-path-to-retirement/