Is retirement a thing of the past?

My initial meeting with clients is to find out about them. Where they are now and where they want to get to. Of course, one of the questions is when they want to retire. More and more frequently, they are telling me that they don’t think they will ever retire. It is not because they don’t think they can ever afford to retire it is because they don’t want to.

Why the change of view on retirement?

Developments in technology is a big factor. Many of the back breaking jobs that were done in the past are now done by machine (there are still some jobs done manually mind). People’s jobs are less physically demanding and more mentally stimulating, so it is something they want to continue doing as they get older.

Of course, this isn’t new. Barrister for example are well known to continue practising until they are unable to. In fact, the oldest practising barrister in Ireland is 100 in October!

Warren Buffett is 85 years of age and still working. He recognises that his muscles are getting weaker as he gets older but he still goes to work every day as he doesn’t need strong muscles to pick stocks. In his 2014 shareholder’s letter he said that it is unlikely that whoever replaces him as CEO will retire at 65.

Changes to when the Old Age Pension is payable

In a bid to reduce the costs of providing the Old Age Pension, the government has changed the ages when it is payable. There used to be a Transitional Pension which was paid for a year at age 65, until the OAP was payable at age 66. That Transitional Pension is now gone.

From 2021, you won’t receive the OAP until age 67 and from 2028 it is age 68. If you are forced to retire from your job at 65, how are you going to fund your lifestyle until the OAP is payable? Use your life savings on day to day living?

There is a lot of discussion now that employers should change their retirement policy so that employees won’t have a 2-3 year gap between when they have to stop working and when they receive the OAP. In reality, someone should be allowed to continue to do their job as long as they are capable of doing so. While someone may be old, you can’t buy that level of experience.

Retirement should be your choice

Even if you have no intention of retiring, there are lots of things that may force you to. As you get older, health becomes an issue. There is also competition, recession or what you do may become obsolete.

You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you have nothing to fall back on. While retirement may be a changing, being able to afford not to work hasn’t. Make sure you have something in place so you are working out of enjoyment and without pressure.

If retirement isn’t for you, make sure it’s because you want to work, not because you have to.

If you have any questions, you can contact me directly at