The Age of No Retirement

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Destroying age barriers and breaking down myths

Weak. Poor. Confused. These are all words readily associated with the older generation in the media. But despite being true for some, is it really the norm?

Statistics show that the over 50s have more money than most other age brackets put together, holding three quarters of the nation’s wealth*.

Yet the majority of advertising is aimed at young people. It’s the over 50s who brought us Apple, Amazon and Ebay. They are more likely to use tablets than 16-24 year-oldsand are the fastest growing group to join Facebook*. Yet they are often portrayed as being tech-illiterate. 70% of the start-ups started by the over 50s are still operating five years on, versus just 28% of the under 50s. Yet it is still so difficult to get a job when you’ve got grey hair.

So how has this powerful, experienced, socialised group been so marginalised by our society? And more importantly…

What can we do about it?
Recently, a colleague and I attended the Age of No Retirement conference in Manchester, set up by a group of people working tirelessly to answer this question. It’s a dynamic, action-orientated movement, bringing together journalists, financial institutions, charities, the Government and the public sector – designed to combat ageism in the workplace, the media and society. Here’s what they shared.

People often don’t want to slow down when they retire. They may want to retrain or work more flexibly, but work is important for self-esteem as well as financial purposes. They want visibility and to feel like an equal and valued part of society. They are often squeezed in between older parents and children, and need to rely on a more community-based network, rather than a work-based one.

For this reason, retirement is changing
It is becoming more of a process than an event. People ‘transition’ towards it, reducing their working hours and evolving their lifestyle (and often their finances) over time.

Smart companies are starting to realise this and are taking a more lifelong approach to careers. They are employing older people, and retaining them by offering more flexible ways of working. They are starting to put as much emphasis on exits as introductions, and on lifestyle and training progression rather than just financial progression. They are also getting young people involved to act as advocates and to share their social connectedness to bring about positive change.

Most of our clients have customers over 50. We need to give them strategies and creative campaigns that position our clients as positive pioneers of this new landscape, rejecting the stereotypes and myths. We are passionate about working on more ideas to do this. Because together we can break down barriers, champion best practice and most importantly, create great work that works. Here’s to the future.

Stat sources:
*ONS Comscore ***Facebook Report PRIME

  • Penny Parnell

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