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Our Population Is Ageing: We Should Start Planning to Work Until Later Life

By 2050, one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over. In 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age globally. The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.'

(World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision)

Ageing Population

This article is in honour of older people to celebrate the International Day of older Persons today (1 October). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (22 August 2019), on average in our lifetime we will hold down 12 jobs before retirement. In 2019, with an increasingly ageing population, and older people outnumbering younger people, thanks to improved health and nutrition in the Western world, it is vital that we start to think less about retirement and more about developing new and different career prospects in later life.


Working Into Mature Years

The Office of National Statistics states that, these days, ‘women aged 18 can expect to live into their 90s’ (ONS: 2018) and ‘it is expected that – for every 1,000 people of working age in 2039 – there will be 370 people of SPA [state pensionable age]’ (ONS: 2016).In the UK, the default pensionable age of 65 was abolished in 2011. Since then, there has been an increase in people working into their more mature years (60+), especially women (ONS: 2019). In addition, research done by the United Nations states that, 'Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century, with implications for nearly all sectors of society, including labour and financial markets….' (UN: 2019).


Retiring Later

As people are choosing to retire much later in life, people in their 50s may have another 20+ years of work left in them. In addition, people are finding that they need to carry on working until later life as their pension pots are much less now than in the past. Some people therefore don’t have a choice but to continue to work until later life.


Finding Job Satisfaction

Given that we all now have an extended working life, we should be thinking longer and harder about job satisfaction. All of these staggering statistics show that we have time to create new futures for ourselves and really make a difference. You may have had a rewarding and purposeful career already but are ready to embrace change, take a risk and do something different.


Transitioning Careers

Transitioning careers is a scary prospect, especially if you know you want to change direction but aren’t sure what to do next. Coaching can help you find what you love to do and give you a new lease of life. It can help you find opportunities you might not have previously considered. It can help you find renewed purpose and create the energy and motivation to make new things happen. It is never too late to reinvent yourself professionally and pursue a new career that you love.


References

1. United Nations (2019): https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/ageing/index.html

2. World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision (2019): https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/ageing/articles/livinglongerandoldagedependencywhatdoesthefuturehold/2019-06-24)

3. Bureau of Labor Statistics (22 August 2019) https://www.bls.gov/news.release/nlsoy.nr0.htm

4. Office for National Statistics (2018) https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/articles/being18in2018/2018-09-13

5. Office for National Statistics (2016) https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/fivefactsaboutolderpeopleatwork/2016-10-01

6. Office for National Statistics (2019) https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/ageing/articles/livinglongerandoldagedependencywhatdoesthefuturehold/2019-06-24