You're Not Too Young to Think about Old Age; Nearly One in Five Londoners Fear They Will Have to Work Past 70 to Afford Their Retirement. Yet Getting a Job Post-50 Is Becoming Harder, with One in Seven Older Workers Believing Their Age Has Cost Them a Work Opportunity. the Solution Is to Plan -- and Earlier. by Niki Chesworth

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 17, 2018 | Go to article overview

You're Not Too Young to Think about Old Age; Nearly One in Five Londoners Fear They Will Have to Work Past 70 to Afford Their Retirement. Yet Getting a Job Post-50 Is Becoming Harder, with One in Seven Older Workers Believing Their Age Has Cost Them a Work Opportunity. the Solution Is to Plan -- and Earlier. by Niki Chesworth


IF YOU ARE struggling to make ends meet today, then imagine having just PS6 a week left over after meeting your household spending.

That is fate facing many of us, with new research from retirement specialists Hargreaves Lansdown finding that pensioners in London are hardest up because of the high cost of living. In parts of the capital, PS6 would buy just a couple of coffees. It's not much.

However, rather than saving significantly more to avoid living in penury when we are pensioners, many workers in London and the South East have a different plan -- to work longer.

Already, one in eight workers in the South East (12.5 per cent) is leaving the world of work after the age of 70 and London is not far behind at more than one in nine (11.8 per cent).

Going forward, even more of us expect to be working longer, with 17 per cent of London workers expecting a retirement post-70 -- nearly one in five.

Look around your workplace and think how it would look with so many employees in their 60s - it is probably hard to imagine. Why? Because once you hit 50 (let alone 60, 65 or 70), it gets much harder to find a job.

In fact, one in seven older workers already thinks their age has cost them a job, according to a survey from Business In The Community (BITC) and the Centre for Ageing Better UK.

It is a growing problem. According to Mercer's Workforce Monitor, almost one in three workers in the UK is already aged 50 or over and, between now and 2025, one million more over-50s will enter the workforce as those in their 40s reach their half century.

Many of them will feel trapped. Almost half of the BITC survey respondents thought their age would be a disadvantage in applying for a job.

AVOID THE AGE BARRIER So if you are looking to move employers, hide your age -- that seems to be the work-around for the over-50s struggling to find work.

You will not be alone. Almost one in five older workers have hidden or considered hiding their age in job applications, according to a YouGov 'Becoming an age-friendly employer' poll.

Start by 'de-aging' your CV: Do not divulge your age or date of birth. Employers are not allowed to ask your age and you do not have to reveal it. So delete it from your CV. Avoid including your entire work history when applying for jobs -- instead stick to the last 15 or 20 years. Never include age-revealing qualifications such as O-levels -- convert them to GCSEs.

And instead of focusing on experience, try to highlight your ability to learn and adapt as well as your energy and dynamism, as some recruiting teams may -- often unconsciously -- believe older workers are more stuck in their ways. Tech skills are another must, and if you learned yours back in the day, perhaps pay for a refresher course (which will not only prove your abilities but show you are still able to acquire skills).

If you include hobbies and interests think carefully about whether or not they portray you as a near-pensioner.

Remember that age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, and if an employer turns you down for a job because they feel you are too old, you can take the employer to an employment tribunal and seek compensation.

PUBLIC SECTOR WINNERS However, perhaps we should also consider giving up jam today for jam tomorrow by choosing jobs and careers that offer better pensions rather than better pay.

Back to that survey about pensioners living off just PS6 a week in London. Well, elsewhere in the UK, pensioners have around 10 times as much free cash, with around PS60 to spend after household bills in Scotland and Wales and PS109 left over after meeting their household spending in the North East.

This is not just down to lower living costs. …

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You're Not Too Young to Think about Old Age; Nearly One in Five Londoners Fear They Will Have to Work Past 70 to Afford Their Retirement. Yet Getting a Job Post-50 Is Becoming Harder, with One in Seven Older Workers Believing Their Age Has Cost Them a Work Opportunity. the Solution Is to Plan -- and Earlier. by Niki Chesworth
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