11 May 2017
It’s official, people are retiring later and later these days, and self-employment is playing a very large part in it.
According to a report published this month by the Centre for Ageing Better, low to middle income workers aged 50 or over account for two-thirds of growth in self-employment. Age UK figures show the number of people aged over 65 who are self-employed has more than doubled in the past five years. And the latest report from the Office for National Statistics shows a rise in full-time self-employment for the over 65s. In addition, more than half of the over 70s still in work are self-employed.
These figures may rise still further in the future. The Guardian newspaper predicts that a hard Brexit would result in more Britons having to work longer in order to make up for a shortfall in the labour market owing to a fall in migrant labour.
According to the CIPD, more than a third of us anticipate we will need to work beyond the current retirement age of 65. However, not all of them will continue to work because of necessity. Nearly a third of people wanting to work beyond retirement is because they believe it will keep them mentally fit, and 27% will be doing it in order to earn extra money for luxuries such as holidays.
Sadly, only a quarter of employees believe that their employer is prepared to meet the needs of older workers. Which is possibly the reason why the numbers of over 65s setting up their own business is increasing at such a rapid rate.
Unfortunately, many of Britain’s self-employed are massively unprepared for their retirement, with only 25% making saving for retirement a priority, and 12% of them having made no savings at all. This may result in them never being able to afford to retire properly, making it even more probable that the workforce – whether employed or self-employed – will get older and older.