Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has flown by, and here we are in 2024. As I sat at Calgary airport with a glass of wine and a 3-hour wait, I began to ponder the different themes and trends for 2024. One topic that struck me in particular was the wave of UNRETIREMENT.

During my three weeks working from my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada I had the privilege of meeting up with friends, colleagues and family, many of whom are still working, whilst others have retired. About 70% of them are thinking, ‘What’s next for me?  Does this sound familiar? What does retirement v working look like? Should I take full-time or part-time retirement, or should I defer it?

Exploring Retirement Options

  • Take retirement & travel
  • Retire and pursue a hobby and perhaps make some money as well
  • Mix of work, volunteering, and pursue your favourite pastime
  • Start your own business or join a start-up
  • Consult or contract
  • Write the book you always wanted and work 1-2 days a week
  • Or mix it all up – Pursue a Portfolio Career

According to the trends for 2024 that LinkedIn researched, it was the great un-retirement that grabbed my attention. The trend showed information about non-linear careers which can often be uncomfortable and scary. I speak from experience having had several different types of careers from criminal justice, retail, publishing, government, recruitment, and technology in different cities and countries, before building my business as a career architect and business coach 10 years ago.  What stays the same is the ability to document, understand and demonstrate my transferable skills, whilst I continue learning.

According to LinkedIn findings, the number of economically inactive 50 to 60-year-olds in the UK decreased by approximately 129,000 since 2022. And that is a trend they expect will continue.

The Elusive Question: Why Not Retire?

It may come down to the ever-increasing cost of living, such as food, energy, fuel, rent or mortgages or not having a large enough pension pot or savings to comfortably retire.

According to themoneycharity.org.uk, 34% hold most of their savings in a current account. One in seven (15%) UK adults have no savings at all which equates to 7.9 million people without a safety net. This may be one of the many reasons many are delaying their retirement or returning to work.

Another reason may be that we are living longer and have a much younger outlook than our previous generation. Age is not a number, it’s a state of mind!  According to a report by Osborne Clarke 1/3 of all workers are over 50!

Whether we are semi-retired, retired, or working full-time, I believe as long as we have a purpose, we have choices and understanding our purpose unlocks our future. Never before, have I seen so many exciting opportunities to do what we love, especially if you’re lucky enough to live in the UK. But the same opportunities may exist in other countries if you know where to look.

Unretirement? Embracing Change in Thinking

There are a few organisations that prepare individuals for retirement, but from what I could find, they are few and far between. How many people, regardless of age, have a culture of saving, think about the importance of investing in a pension or check that they are on track to receive the full state pension?

When you combine all these elements, it may prompt a drastic change in thinking. It might not be about planning retirement but embracing a new way of living and working.

Questions to consider

  • What does my ideal look like?
  • How many hours a week do I want to work?
  • What type of industry would I like to work in?
  • Where do my skills fit? Are they transferable?
  • Do I want to commute or work virtually? Or have a mix?
  • How can I move industries or sectors?

5 Generations working together in harmony (traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X (Gen X), millennials, and Generation Z (Gen Z)

Working with individuals of all ages gives companies a real diverse and appealing culture. But how do we get the most out of such diverse teams? Leveraging the experience and expertise of older employees combined with new ideas, technologies and the creativity of a younger workforce can be a challenge. It calls for strong vision, leadership skills, and patience. The ability to think differently, and embrace the unretirers, can change the game for companies.

Do you want to push the boundaries? I have no desire to retire as long as I enjoy what I do. However, my working week looks quite different than what it used to look like. What does your working week look like today?

In Conclusion

In conclusion, what I’d like to do is ask every one of you how you feel about this trend? Do employers have a valuable resource by recruiting unretireries? What improvements could we make to help each other work with different generations? Can leaders, managers and individuals help companies provide the best innovative work environments?

Five things to consider if you are considering returning to work or looking at retirement differently:

  • Do a budget. Understand your costs and what you spend every month.
  • Speak to a financial adviser to get a very firm picture of your savings, pension, mortgage, state pension, and debt.
  • Review your career, and create the ‘art of the possible.’
  • Document your achievements.
  • Understand your purpose and create specific goals.

If you have any questions or need some guidance on unretirement, please get in touch.