Do I have to retire today? The facts.

Do I have to retire today? The facts.

It’s now considered discrimination if an employer asks you to retire or refuses to let you work because you are older than 65. Or 75. Or even 85 – unless there’s a very good reason such as frailty or infirmity due to old age that could prevent you from carrying out your obligations as an employee. Think about an 80-year old fireman. But there are some questions you might like to ask yourself, though, as time moves on:

Are you ready to retire?

Many people like going to work. Emotionally, it can provide great stability and a real sense of self-worth too. You may be getting pressure from close family, or friends, to take time out for yourself as you get older – but there’s nothing to say you can’t look at flexible working as a transition from full-time employment to being fully retired, at some point in the future.

Can you afford to retire?

This is a tricky one. If you’ve budgeted well for retirement by saving into a pension scheme, and you have relatively few regular expenses (no children to support, no mortgage to pay off), then you may be in a good place, financially, to think about giving up a formal income from employment. If that’s not the case, then you may need to carry on working for a while.

Do you want to retire?

There may be interests you’ve always wanted to pursue; something you’ve always wanted to do – like visit friends or family overseas on an extended trip, or take up a new hobby – or career – and focus on that full-time. You may even want to go ‘back to school’, taking a long-distance learning course through a virtual college or University.

However old you are, if you’re working and you’re not sure what your rights are – you can usually find out by looking at your employment contract, and talking to your HR department.

Unless your employer can justify a good reason why he’d like you to go, there’s no need to panic. In fact, it’s often a good opportunity to talk about the advantages you bring to a company by being an established member of staff, helping newer employees to settle in or understand company culture and how the business has become what it is today…


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