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Can I Work After Retirement?

If you are asking whether you can work beyond retirement age, the answer is yes, and many people do. If, on the other hand, you are questioning whether you can return to work after you have already retired, you will be pleased to know that the answer is also yes.

More and more people are choosing to retire late, or to return to work after retiring, which is partly due to the 2022 Cost of Living Crisis. In this article, we will explain how you can navigate working after retirement, and the pros and cons of doing this vs finding other ways to boost your income.

Why Do People Choose to Retire?

Firstly, many people choose to retire as they have worked for most of their lives, and they want the opportunity to enjoy their life without having to prioritise employment.

This may involve spending more time with their family, starting new hobbies, or travelling to see more of the world.

Secondly, retirement is the obvious option for people who have enough money to stop working. If they have enough savings and pension funds, they may feel as though it would be pointless to continue working, as the money wouldn’t be put to use otherwise, and they would rather be out of work than in it.

Finally, retirement provides an escape from the highly structured life that most people have to stick to. There are no more early commutes, no more 95s, and no more going to bed early in order to be able to wake up for work in the morning.

This gives people the freedom to create their own schedule and spend their lives doing what they actually want to do.

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Why Do People Choose to Continue Working?

Firstly, some people are unfortunately unable to retire as they do not have enough money to be able to stop working.

They may not qualify for a State Pension, they may have never saved money in a private pension, and they may not be fortunate enough to have retirement savings. In this sense, it is not so much a choice as an obligation.

Secondly, some people are lucky enough to enjoy their work, whether it’s because they love their job or they get along well with their colleagues. They may decide to stay there as they find more happiness in attending work every day than they would in staying at home.

Finally, delaying retirement is a sensible financial decision for some people, as you can earn money on your pension the longer you leave it. For every 9 weeks that you don’t touch your State Pension, it will increase by 1% (1).

Can I Work Past Retirement Age?

Yes, you absolutely do not have to retire at the minimum retirement age, which is currently 55 years old, but will increase to 57 years old by 2028 (2).

Employers used to be able to force their employees to retire at the minimum age, but this is no longer the case, so you are free to retire whenever you want to past the age of 55 (3).

In fact, plenty of people do not have the money to retire at 55, so they choose to work for a few more years to save up their employment income and contribute more to their pension, as well as benefiting from the increase in State Pension that occurs as a result of pension deferral.

The average retirement age for men is 65.3 years old, and women retire at 64.3 years old on average. However, many people do retire early, and many retire late.

Unbiased tells us that nearly a third of employees plan to retire after the age of 70, which is in part due to ‘rising debt in older age’ (4).

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Can I Return to Work After Retirement?

Yes, you can work after retirement. One way to do this is to retire and access your pension pot (which you can do from age 55), and then continue to work. You are allowed to work as many hours as you want after you retire.

You may choose to do this if your employment income is not enough to fund your lifestyle, or if you do not have enough money to fund a particular project, and your pension pot would help you to do this.

For instance, you may want to renovate your home to make it more suitable for retirement life, and you need to use some of your pension funds to do this.

If you do continue to work after retiring, please keep in mind that you may have to pay more tax on the pension funds you withdraw. The same applies to the tax you pay on your State Pension, though this is only accessible from age 66.

Most people who work after retirement choose to work reduced hours, and this is because they do not have the energy to continue with full-time work, but they cannot afford to stop working completely.

Other times, they could afford to quit work, but they enjoy working for a set amount of time each week due to the structure it provides.

Why Do People Choose to Work After Retirement?

Firstly, many people retire and then realise they do not have as much money as they thought they did for retirement.

This is becoming increasingly common with the cost of living rising. Some people have planned their retirement funds years in advance, but due to the 2022 Cost of Living Crisis, this money is no longer enough to cover their retirement, and so they have no choice but to return to work.

Secondly, some people can theoretically afford to retire, but they do not have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement, so they return to work in the hopes of enjoying a more luxury retirement later down the line.

Retiring and staying at home every day is affordable for many, but going on nice days out, travelling, and starting new hobbies requires more savings.

Finally, there are some people who find retirement too boring, and feel motivated to return to work, where they have more of a purpose. This is particularly true if their partner is still working, their friends are working, or they live in a rural area, where there aren’t many things to do.

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Elderly People Working from Home

As our society is increasingly pivoted towards a digital world, work-from-home options are becoming a widespread option. Working from provides all demographics with opportunities, including elderly individuals.

One such niche is that of Virtual Assistants (VA), offering a way for seniors to stay active, feel valued, and supplement their income while working from their personal space. Being a virtual assistant entails offering administrative support to companies or entrepreneurs remotely. Plus, the job role’s flexibility necessitates controlling each client’s size and dedicating specific hours which suits best to the personals.

Acquiring extensive career experience makes older adults in the UK apt for VA roles. Their adeptness stems from copious familiarity with industries gathered over years and remarkable patient skills bundled by profound knowledge of correspondence, scheduling, data management and bookkeeping – tasks typically assigned to VAs.

While technology might initially seem overwhelming, numerous lessons and tutorials on video conferencing platforms like Zoom or using project management tools such as Trello or Slack make it feasible even for people who are not initially familiar with these applications. These platforms can quell the technological apprehensions that the elderly may harbour.

Moreover, organisations across industries have started recognising the proficiency and reliability that comes along with the mature age bracket. Many report that working with elderly Virtual Assistants produced more accurate results due to their attention to detail, decisive ability to handle delicate situations, strong work ethic and enhanced productivity levels – justifying their strengthened presence in global businesses.

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Are there Any Other Ways to Boost Your Income in Later Life?

Yes, there are many other ways you can boost your retirement income without returning to work, or working past retirement age.

Each option has its pros and cons, so they will not all be suitable for everyone, but we recommend investigating each of our suggestions in case you find something that appeals to you.

1. Downsize

Instead of returning to work, you could downsize and move into a more affordable property. It is possible that you currently live in a high value property that costs a lot of money, whether due to bills alone, or due to the bills and mortgage.

There is no better time to move to a more affordable home than in retirement, when your family are no longer living with you, as you will be able to live in a smaller property with fewer rooms.

It will cost money to downsize initially, but you will make the money back when you are paying out less on the mortgage and bills.

2. Borrow from family

If your financial struggle is only temporary, you may need a short-term solution to resolve it. We call this bridging finance. If you know someone who would be willing to lend you money just while you got your finances in order, we would recommend doing this so that you don’t get into any debt.

However, we want to emphasise that this is only a short-term solution, so you shouldn’t consider this if you do not have anywhere near the amount of money you need to retire.

3. Release equity

Releasing equity is a great way to ensure you have enough money in retirement, as you can unlock a large amount of money with this scheme, and you do not have to repay the loan while you are alive, as the money is collected from your property sale when you enter long-term care or pass away.

The money you earn through equity release can be spent in any way, so you can make your retirement exactly how you want it. You may choose to go on many luxury holidays and buy a brand new car, but you may instead choose to use the money for practical things like transport and food, which would allow you to put the rest of your funds towards things you enjoy.

You do not have to be retired to take out equity, but you do need to have reached the minimum retirement age of 55. You must also be a homeowner with a property worth at least £70,000, and ideally, you will have paid off your conventional mortgage. If not, you would have to be prepared to put aside part of your equity loan to repay it.

Please remember that the amount of money you can release through equity release depends on the value of your property, amongst other things. This means that if you have a low value home, you may not be able to release enough to completely change the course of your retirement.

However, most equity release consumers are happy with the amount of money they get as it is tax-free and does not have to be repaid. What’s more, there are a wide range of equity release plans and lenders to choose from, so they get to experience equity release in a unique way that suits their individual circumstances.

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579

Contact Us to Release Equity From Your Property

To find out how releasing equity can help you to fund your retirement and prevent you from having to return to work, call us on 0330 058 1579 or leave your information with us.

The reason we are such big advocates for equity release is it is a scheme that is widely accessible and does not discriminate against people who are low income, or who have had financial difficulties in the past.

This means it can be life-changing for people who are in debt and want to release themselves from this in order to enjoy their retirement.

However, we do acknowledge that equity release is not for everybody, so we would never force one of our clients to go ahead with it if we could see that they would be better off returning to work, borrowing from their loved ones, or downsizing.

We offer a free consultation to all of our new customers who are considering equity release.

You do not have to know anything about the scheme to qualify for a free consultation, nor do you need to be willing to make a commitment. It is simply an opportunity for you to understand how equity release works and how it could potentially benefit you, as well as how it may set you back.

You can take out equity whether you are retired or still working. Some people prefer to do it while they are working so that they can boost their income as much as possible.

However, others prefer to wait until they are retired as they can sometimes access higher loan amounts and various other benefits as an older equity release consumer.

There are usually no upper age limits placed on equity release, but some equity release lenders do state that they do not accept customers over a certain age, such as 85. As for the minimum age restriction of 55, this is met by every single equity release provider in the UK, and it is non-negotiable.

You will find that this is a common rule, as you also cannot access your pension pot before you turn 55, unless you are in poor health.

If you are younger than 55 and you are struggling financially, see our budgeting tips, but also use this benefits calculator to see if you qualify for any state benefits (5). Something else you can do is get in touch with Citizen’s Advice to get help with the cost of living (6).

Please call our 24-Hour Helpline: 0330 058 1579


[1] Delay (defer) your State Pension

[2] Minimum pension age on the up!

[3] Retirement age

[4] When can I retire? Calculate your best retirement age

[5] Benefits calculators

[6] Get help with the cost of living

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