Winding down? What’s that? Indeed, many women in their 50s and 60s are busy starting a new chapter in their working lives – the employment rate for women aged 50-64 rose to 68% in 2019, up from 53% in 2000.1 Some are continuing to enjoy their career and see no reason to stop; others are relishing the opportunity to try something different, without the financial pressure of mortgage payments or childcare.
On the flip side, many will be working out of necessity – with issues such as the gender pensions gap and changes to the state pension age meaning many will not have saved enough for their retirement.
But, whether work is a result of choice or necessity, we’re doing ladies a huge disservice if we present the growing number of older women in the workplace as a negative. After all, continuing to earn a salary gives women more financial resilience and independence – and that surely can’t be a bad thing?
There’s a lot to be said for keeping the money coming in as long as you can. The longer you work, the longer you can hold off taking your pension – a deferred pension has more time to potentially grow and, depending on your income, you can also keep making contributions. And, when you do start taking your pension, your savings won’t need to last as long, either. Indeed, you may also find it makes sense to defer your State Pension in return for a higher income later on.
And the benefits of working into later life aren’t just financial. Those who can carry on working often find that the right job – and the social outlet it provides – improves both their physical and their emotional well-being. Colleagues are part of that vital support network I’ve written about previously!