Growing number of professionals working past 65

Older workers in front of a computer screen

Financial planning in association with Scottish Widows banner‘Silver entrepreneurs’ on the rise as many older workers reject retiring

Wealthy professionals are increasingly spurning the 65 retirement age in favour of working for longer and starting businesses, according to a new report.

The Why Should I Retire? Retirement is Not The Same As Old Age report by UBS Wealth Management has revealed that those over-65 with investable assets of at least £250,000 are starting new businesses, pursuing alternative careers or working in the charity sector.

The 2015 pension freedom reforms, which enabled people to empty their pension pots for the first time, have also had a profound effect on the psyche of many retirees, especially on attitudes towards savings.

The UBS survey found that nearly a fifth of respondents (18 per cent) wished to take advantage of the new pension freedoms by accessing their savings to fund a business.

Furthermore, it found that 89 per cent of respondents currently enjoy their work and 71 per cent view retirement as an opportunity to explore other careers. In contrast to previous generations, only 23 per cent of professionals now see themselves having a traditional retirement without working.

The decision to carry on working in later life doesn’t appear to be motivated by financial gain either. According to the survey, nearly two thirds (65 per cent) said they enjoy working too much to retire.

“Age-old motivations in financial planning for retirement, while not necessarily redundant, have changed and retirement is no longer a hard stop event, but rather a phased period taking place over years or even decades,” said Nick Tucker, head of UK domestic, at UBS Wealth Management. “During this time, individuals may seek to take on new challenges, continue accumulating wealth or build legacies for future generations.”

According to innovation charity Nesta, pension-led funding was worth £25m in 2014, expected to rocket to around £400m this year.

Meanwhile, research from Age UK has found that the over-50s are more successful than younger entrepreneurs when starting new businesses. Around 70 per cent of businesses founded by over-50s are likely to be around in five years, compared to just 28 per cent set up by younger entrepreneurs.

Last year, the Bank of England also said an ageing workforce accounted for half of the increase in self-employment since 2004.

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