Page 2 | to think most people will work till they're dead and won't see retirement age?

(293 Posts)
tugging Tue 11-May-21 01:22:37

Ok massive generalisation but I see a lot of people talking about how they're 40 or so and have 20 + years before they retire.

As a society, we're more sicker, more stressed and more busier than ever. These things would shorten your life expectancy. I can't imagine working till I'm nearly 70- I'm not even 40 and I'm already knackered! I think I'll be dead before I reach retirement age. I know so many people who have died before 60. They never got to retire and enjoy a work free life.

I know people can retire earlier but not many people have a decent pension that i know of and are forced to work till they're nearly 70 or till ill health.

OP’s posts: |
Stuffin Tue 11-May-21 07:08:13

* As an aside, if you are not even 40 and “already knackered” then that’s probably something to visit your GP about because that really isn’t normal or healthy.*

I think that depends on the job. I have had many different jobs over my lifetime and some are much harder physically or mentally than others.

NeverDropYourMoonCup Tue 11-May-21 07:11:05


I think that financial literacy should be on the national curriculum. Ive always been scared of never being able to manage on a state pension and started paying into my private pension from a young age. Hoping to retire or at least work PT in 5 years.

So was I - but I didn't earn enough to be able to pay the rent as well as make pension contributions, never mind save anything for a deposit.

DP stands to inherit from me. So he should be OK financially.

cptartapp Tue 11-May-21 07:12:38

I have a reasonably good NHS pension, 30 years + chose to return early after DC. DH pays a good whack extra into his pension every month. I've also had a decent inheritance, DH has his maybe yet to come. I invested practically all of it so I can retire at 55 and can also start claiming around half of my pension too then without penalty + lump sum. Six years to go.
My work and life experiences have taught me not to wait. Neither of my parents made 70.
Very lucky in many ways to be able to do this.

Whatapalavaa Tue 11-May-21 07:13:22

Absolutely! @Stuffin

@ComtesseDeSpair hmm Someone working in a physical and/or high stress job may very well be knackered by 40, compared to someone in a low stress, desk based role.

TheMoth Tue 11-May-21 07:13:53

I'm early 40s. You really don't see many teachers over 60, so it will interesting to see what happens as we age. My mum was heading into dementia by her mid 60s, so that should make my lessons.... different. Unless I've been managed out by then, which is what I suspect will happen.

TheMoth Tue 11-May-21 07:16:10

And yes to different levels of exhaustion. I spent Easter decorating. 12 hours a day, 5 days to get it all done. And I permit no slacking. I still wasn't as knackered as a week in my non manual job.


motherrunner Tue 11-May-21 07:16:53

@TheMoth #teachertired

SelkieBe Tue 11-May-21 07:22:15

I work with people who can choose when to retire (although it makes a difference, but these arent society's poorest, no no) and the average age they choose to retire is 62. About 1 in 12 of those is somebody who has to retire early in their 50s due to ill health. I really hope i can work 4 days a week to 67 and then enjoy good health.

JaninaDuszejko Tue 11-May-21 07:23:13

The average life expectancy is well above the current state retirement age. When the state pension was introduced people received it at 70 and life expectancy was 75. Now we get it at 68 and life expectancy is in the 80s so we get more years on our pensions than we ever did. That is the what the pensions crisis is about. We couldn't afford the incredibly generous pensions that public sector workers got/get.

Arbadacarba Tue 11-May-21 07:23:36

I think semi-retirement might become more common - moving to a part-time, low-stress job and supplementing your income with cash released early from a pension, or house-downsizing, or a voluntary redundancy payout from a previous job. Obviously that won't be an option for everyone - it's something I've 'pencilled in' as a possible option myself because I don't want to work F/T till 67 but working part-time - properly part time, less than 20 hours a week, might be tolerable.

SelkieBe Tue 11-May-21 07:24:51

@Themoth i wonder the same. At 50 im the second oldest at work. Where are all my contemporaries?! Im single so i was determined to get back in to workplace.

user1487194234 Tue 11-May-21 07:25:59

I enjoy my job very much and have no real desire to retire
My mum worked into her 70s and is so much younger in her outlook than my in-laws who retired in their 50s and seem stuck in 1995

Abraxan Tue 11-May-21 07:30:59

I think a lot of people do bury their heads somewhat and don't plan for their future, even those with reasonable incomes.

Pensions mean saving almost from day 1 of working and so many people put it off.

And those on lower incomes find this so difficult as there often isn't any spare.

I'm fortunate. Though we won't have inheritances we have saved through pensions, etc since the start. Mine was a work pension but I have a private one on top, albeit small. Dh has a high salary and saves hard in his private pensions too. Dh has no health issues. I do but not ones which should reduce my life expectancy. We also only have one child, which makes a difference to every day spending as she's grown up.

We plan to retire by 60 and should be in a financial position to do so. Currently late 40s.

Buckingafout Tue 11-May-21 07:31:40

I'm a nurse. I don't see myself being physically able to work until I am 68 in my current job.

I see a lot of patients who become suddenly ill just after retiring.

Ragwort Tue 11-May-21 07:35:43

I am 63 and work part time, but as a PP said it is great if you really like your job - which I do, I have no plans to retire.

But why are people still so clueless about pensions? We started a pension fund for our DS as soon as he was born, we didn't put 'loads' in, but the steady growth has meant he is well on the way to having a fairly decent pension pot, assuming he adds to it, when he comes to retire.

Averyyounggrandmaofsix Tue 11-May-21 07:38:49

*At 40 as a woman you are at the midpoint of your life. Barring health issues (which are usually lifestyle culprits) there is a lot of living to do between your 40’s and retirement age.*

Very unfair and unkind to blame lifestyle for health issues.

SelkieBe Tue 11-May-21 07:39:52

Well, i was never clueless. But i was and am a single parent. I was on benefits. Im working now and contributing to what will be a small pension and i will keep doing so until 67.

Clueless wasnt the problem!! I always worried about it but i was more specifically powerless, broke, with bigger more immediate fish to fry....

rookiemere Tue 11-May-21 07:39:52

I'm extremely lucky as due to work pension I should be able to retire at 60 ( I'm 51 now). I also never went back full time from having DS ( now 15 grin) and work 30 hrs per week over 4 days, and can see myself doing that until age 60, although I really have not enjoyed wfh at all.

I feel so sorry for young people with no decent work pension to back them up. I try to have a positive attitude and "feel young" and I exercise and try to eat well, but I simply don't have the energy or brain power that I did when younger. Thankfully I have lots of experience to replace it with, but I simply can't see me working until 67.

People are living longer, but it's not like those extra years mean they can travel more or even enjoy life vicariously. My DPs are in their 80s and although they are financially very well off, their health means they can't really do that much. They were fortunate to retire late 50s and early 60s so they did some great trips and visiting friends in their 60s and early 70s.

Orangebug Tue 11-May-21 07:42:28


The average life expectancy is well above the current state retirement age. When the state pension was introduced people received it at 70 and life expectancy was 75. Now we get it at 68 and life expectancy is in the 80s so we get more years on our pensions than we ever did. That is the what the pensions crisis is about. We couldn't afford the incredibly generous pensions that public sector workers got/get.


Triphazard101 Tue 11-May-21 07:42:31

My DH is 60 this year. Before we had kids he planned to retire at 55, now he plans to work until the youngest is out of education which means til hes at least 67. He works with several self employed people many of whom are in their 60s, 70s some even over 80, and not all are working because they're down to their last penny. confused

ClarkeGriffin Tue 11-May-21 07:42:42

Think you're right to be honest and it's health that's the main culprit. People are way unhealthier now than ever, lots of fast food, many people are overweight or even obese. That puts stress on the organs and joints. I can sadly see the average age of death start to drop in maybe even a decades time, more likely two. People work long hours, don't have time to exercise or just don't bother. Just sit at home watching TV.

evilharpy Tue 11-May-21 07:53:53

I didn't really start paying into a pension till I was about 30. I can't see myself ever being able to retire fully. Hopefully when the mortgage is paid off it'll allow me to increase the pension savings but we're hoping to move to a different area soon and it will mean needing to take on a bigger mortgage (whereas if we stayed here we could have the mortgage paid off within maybe 8 years).

I can't still be doing my "main" job when I'm 60, it's too soul destroying. I'm hoping to teach yoga and pilates and fitness for older people to top up the pension and/or bridge the gap until pension age and it'll keep me active too.

Purplewithred Tue 11-May-21 07:55:22

You’ve raised two completely different issues
1) whether any of us will be able to afford to retire
2) dying before we retire

As someone nearly at retirement age I can say that while it looked impossible for years now I’m here it’s actually looking doable - the mortgage is actually paid off finally, the kids have flown the nest, we can downsize. Recent advice is to expect to pay more into your pension later in life and that’s been our experience. We do both have pensions and qualify for full state pensions so in the medium term that looks OK. We wont be in the cruise-and-new-car gang but we wont starve.

With regards to dying before we can appreciate it, ha! Fat chance. Life expectancy for a 65 year old woman now is another 21 years, so 86, and that’s an average. More of us than ever are living into our 90s and even 100s. Personally I reckon 85 - 90 is quite old enough thank you, I dont want to be the last one of my gang standing.

ShowOfHands Tue 11-May-21 07:55:53

I'm waiting to see what genetic legacy I've inherited. My Mum retired at 66, hated it and went back to work 4 weeks later. She is fit and healthy and has no plans to stop work. My Dad took ill health retirement at 60 because he could hardly walk and was in excruciating pain. His retirement is not enjoyable at all. He needed to retire at 55 at least as his health was deteriorating but he knew he had to try and hang on as long as possible. And that's with a private pension. He had an elderly mother and a disabled sister and needed to provide for them. So he limped on and sacrificed his health.

My brother is 43 and a farmer. He will NOT work until retirement age in that job. He has arthritis and he's had to give up hobbies and prioritise work because he's in quite a lot of pain on a daily basis. But he has a disabled child so he says he can't imagine affording retirement before 66 if he continues to care for her.

RantyAnty Tue 11-May-21 07:56:20

I've tried to retire but just couldn't do it. I really enjoy what I do so I've just reworked it to a place that makes me happy but have enough free time.

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