Pensions - Articles - Retirement brings FOMO concerns for workers over 50

Research into retirement preferences among over 50s in the UK reveals that working has positive effects on worker wellbeing, which many are reluctant to give up by retiring. Not benefitting from the non-monetary elements of work, such as mental stimulation and social engagement, influences the way people want to retire. The fear of missing out, ‘FOMO’, means half of workers over 50 favour a phased transition into retirement.

 The alternative to a cliff edge end to working life, transitioning into retirement, gives workers the best of all worlds, by allowing them to balance their health and wealth. And maintaining mental sharpness was the top reason given for wanting to take this option, by three in five workers (59%). Sense of purpose (44%) and social engagement (39%) were other valued elements workers felt they’d get from continuing to work in some capacity. 

 It was not just the associated benefits of work that makes extended employment appealing. The need for additional money to supplement a pension was felt to be a major consideration for 42% of workers, with more women than men citing this as a reason for continuing to work beyond retirement, (nearly half (48%) of women versus 39% of men).

 Interestingly the thought of stopping work altogether and completely retiring was a concern for a quarter of workers (27%) over 50, with 1 in 10 of them (11%) saying they were anxious about the thought. A fifth (19%) were candid enough to admit that beyond the initial excitement, they thought the novelty of not working would be short lived.

 Why do older workers want to work beyond traditional retirement age?
 Improved life expectancy means there’s now an increased expectation that people will live into their 80s and beyond, making them more inclined to continue working in some capacity in their 60s and potentially 70s. This is especially true if they enjoy good health, which is increasingly the case. With many workers having less physically demanding jobs it’s also easier to continue working for longer.

 Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon, commented: “It’s interesting to look at why we’re working later in life. For today’s over 50s it goes beyond earning an income and is more about the increasing evidence to suggest that it’s good for not just your wealth but your health. 

 “Workers see transitioning into retirement as having the best of all worlds – benefitting mentally and socially from work, continuing to receive an income and enjoying more leisure time.

 “Work is fulfilling for a variety of reasons and is a big part of a person’s identity, which makes stepping away from it a more difficult decision.

 “Our research shows that workers over 50 appreciate that working provides so much more than just financial security. It gives us a purpose, a sense of self-esteem, keeps our brains nimble as well as offering social interaction. These are all seen as important and the key reasons people want to blend work and retirement, before stopping altogether.”

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