There is no longer a cut-off point at which you retire, according to a new report. Instead, those aged 50 to 80 are increasingly still working, at least part-time.


What is preretirement? A way for the over-50s to stagger (towards) retirementName: Pre-tirement. Age: Late-50s. Appearance: Clapped-out.

Time to retire. Tempting, but retirement is so passe. It’s all about pre-tirement these days, gradually reducing your hours until, at 95, you finally pack it in.

Who says? David Black, author of a new report based on a survey of 2,000 people aged between 50 and 80. “Planning for, and moving towards, retirement is increasingly becoming a staggered process,” he says, “with use of the term ‘pre-tirement’ likely to become more widespread and understood in the years ahead.”

Staggered being the operative word. Indeed. Can we take a short break here while I have a lie down?

Are you feeling OK? Yes, thanks, much better. Let me just take a tablet. That’s better. Where were we?

Staggering. Ah, yes. “Retirement is now rarely an event that you can plan to occur on a definite date years in advance,” says Black. “While some of us may be lucky enough to do so, for most of us there are too many variables.”

You mean we’re all broke? Yes, though of course the government likes to present pre-tirement as a chance to carry on leading a fulfilling working life until you die or, worse, enter a care home.

Tough on manual labourers. True, though oddly these surveys never seem to bother about them. The assumption is that everyone is a consultant of some sort, able to adjust their hours at will and physically capable of working more or less indefinitely.

When do you plan to stop? As soon as possible. It’s just a question of trying to get to the bottom of the column.

You can do it old chap, don’t despair. Thanks. This journalism game is so exhausting for us older folks.

Does the survey have any stats on the hours older employees work? It does indeed. The over-50s do 30 hours a week; the over 65s manage 20.

What a nightmare. Quite.

Do say: “Will that do? I’m taking the afternoon off.” Don’t say: “But you’ve only worked two hours today.”

(Story source: The Guardian)


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