Just because you reach a significant birthday doesn’t mean you are surplus to requirements. Keith Frost from the Age and Employment Network made this statement recently and I couldn’t agree more.
Working within a retirement-focussed organisation I see on a daily basis so many examples of fit, healthy, able, motivated and purposeful people of an older age who would be more useful to an employer than many half their age.
The sociological make-up of our population is constantly changing. People live longer, their outlook on life is younger. In many cases, eighty is the new sixty when it comes to age and this should be reflected in more flexible working patterns and less rigid retirement dates.
I welcome the Department for Work and Pensions’ decision to review the 65 years threshold. Some politicians are saying work until you’re 80 – I’m not advocating this but some consideration of the default retirement age is long overdue.
In our villages we have numerous people who choose to go out to work for all sorts of reasons. They have so much to offer the local workforce and the local community and age should not really be an issue in this case.
Those that have retired lead amazingly busy lives – many are actually busier than when they did their ‘day job’.
What this does show is that people’s outlook on life, their energy and appetite for life doesn’t falter in their 60s, not even in their 70s or their 80s in many cases. Age is almost irrelevant, it is the individual that needs considering.
Anyone can come and ask me and I can show them immediately the kind of would-be retirees who put to shame workers half their age. Their endless energy and enthusiasm for work, for learning, for having fun is an inspiration – and trying to dent this by saying at 65 it’s time to call it a day, is just not right.
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