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…