According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, more than half a million people became ‘economically inactive’ between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021. 94 percent were aged 50 or over. It has caused concern over GDP and the potential widening of the ‘haves and have not’ chasm but one author and expert on the subject of planning life after full time work believes there is more to it than cash in the bank.
Chris Brown is the author of ‘Leaders Don’t Retire’ which is a guide to creating the life you want when you finish full time work. Chris argues that the concept of ‘retirement’ has changed. “The end of full-time work now signals the start of new chapters that may see entirely new careers take off and an increase in contributions to the economy from a generation that is pigeonholed as retreating to their garden sheds,” explains Chris.
“Right now, there will be a lot of people ‘lazing’ by the pool or on the beach as they take their much-deserved summer break and frankly, a growing proportion of them will be thinking about whether they really fancy going back to the grindstone post-holiday – even with the advent of hybrid working and the 4-day week. The game has changed.”
“Some will have planned this many years in advance but there are many who will be bringing those best laid plans forward or starting on them with increased urgency as they seek a new chapter in their lives and their careers. ‘The pandemic has played a major part in this exodus, with people rethinking the nature of what work is and re-evaluating what is most important to them.”
“We are at a really exciting and interesting time for the ‘Boomer’ generation in particular. There has been a huge ‘rethink’ and ‘refinding’ about what drives people and many are not happy to simply settle for the norm – whether that cliche is endless beach holidays or gardening.”
“Until fairly recently, far too many people get to retirement age without any clear plans or goals for the future other than ‘not working.’ Sure, they’ve had all the advice about savings and investments, wills and trusts but post-pandemic, when so many lives were out on hold, many people are now looking to ignite or reignite that fire in the belly, that drive, that energy to pursue their goals, many of which they may have lost along the way. I believe that this summer will see a huge shift in people’s attitudes to what ‘work’ and also what ‘retirement’ is.”
“Some will absolutely fancy staying on the beach and if that’s their dream good on them. However, there are plenty more out there that will come back with a renewed zeal and focus, just don’t expect that it will mean they are settling for the 9-5 and the carriage clock before they ‘stop working’ – this is the dawn of a new era for a generation, a generation that knows what it wants.”