By Sophia Epstein, 30th May 2022
The ‘retirement ideal’ has been changing for years. Older people are increasingly unretiring, changing the shape of this life stage.
Picture retirement in your head. It’s a laughing, grey-haired couple sipping piña coladas on a white sand beach; perhaps they’re getting some liquid courage for their sky dive later. Not a care in the world, their only responsibility is getting their grandchildren good gifts for their birthdays.
It’s a beautiful fantasy – and for many retirees, present and future, it’s just that: a fantasy. The concept of retirement as we know it is changing, and has been for a long time.
The number of people working past retirement age has grown consistently since the 1990s. In the US, 32% of people aged 65 to 69 were in work in 2017, far more than the 22% who were working in 1994. In the UK, employment rates for people older than 65 doubled between 1993 and 2018.