The changing face of retirement

by | Nov 9, 2020

The changing face of retirement

As we all know, the global pandemic has affected millions of people financially. And not just that, COVID-19 has also changed the way we look at retirement, which is of particular interest to me.

This week I read about some new research from Canada Life, which has revealed the number of employed people expecting to work beyond state pension age has fallen from 71 percent in 2019 to 51 percent. 

People are starting to retire earlier than ever

2020 is the first year there has been a fall since Canada Life began its study. So why is this? 

It’s because many issues that have been ‘bubbling under’ for a while have come to a head. These are about health, money and – since many of us have been cut off from friends and family and normality – our very purpose in life.

And now COVID-19 seems to have accelerated people’s desire to stop working when they hit 66, Canada Life says.

Paul Avis, their Strategic Propositions Director of Group Insurance said: “For some older workers, the events of 2020 have helped them realise they want to spend more time at home, with their families and learning new skills and hobbies. Whereas for others, poor health and vulnerability may – sadly – have accelerated their retirement plans.”

grandparents enjoying time with their family

I find this trend fascinating, but it also concerns me. Rather than providing a solution to these three areas of worry – health, finance, and a sense of purpose – stopping work completely can exacerbate them. That’s not just my opinion: I listen intently to what my clients and community think of retirement, and what their concerns are for the future. After all, with this knowledge, I can better serve my ‘tribe’ of retiring baby boomers.

During lockdown, I’ve been spending time having in-depth conversations with some of my closer connections – and I’ve been both fascinated and inspired by the things they’ve told me. I think they will resonate with you too: that’s why I’m putting them into an upcoming short course I’m creating.

COVID has forced some to retire due to health issues

I can’t wait to share this with you, but in the meantime, here are some of the insights I’ve got from my conversations. Do any of these statements ring true for you?

“I can’t just stop working: I simply have to have something to do.”

“My challenge will be replacing my relationships with my work colleagues.”

“Working hard has created a financial comfort zone which I don’t want to lose.”

These concerns aren’t going to disappear when we stop work, as those in the Canada Life survey suppose they will. Quite the opposite. 

That’s why my work focuses on helping baby boomers rebel against conventional approaches to retirement, see through the ‘fake news’ we’re told about how to live in later life… And choose to prosper instead. 

I’d love to hear your feedback on these statements. And if you’d like to tell me which statement resonates with you most, or add one of your own, email me at [email protected]. And don’t forget to look out for my short course, coming soon.

George Jerjian
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