Will you continue to work in retirement?

Workers aged 65 and over are likely to be responsible for at least 50 per cent of all UK employment growth in the next 10 years

Telephone conversation. Enchanting well-groomed aging boss in white stylish shirt and trendy accessories busily speaking on the phone in office.

More than half of UK adults say they plan to work at least part-time during their retirement, with 45% expecting to work into their 70s.

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Research by fund managers Fidelity International found that almost one in 10 people plan to work into their 80s or beyond.

Separate projections from Restless.co.uk, a jobs, volunteering and advice site for the over 50s, shows that workers aged 65 and over are likely to be responsible for at least 50 per cent of all UK employment growth in the next 10 years.

Stuart Lewis, founder at Rest Less, said: “People’s reasons for continuing to work post state pension age vary wildly, from those who are choosing to top up their pension pots whilst they still can, to those who want to keep working for the love of the job, or for the health and wellbeing benefits.”

Retiring in debt

Whilst for some working into later life is a choice, for many it is a necessity, especially if they’re in debt.

More than one in three people retiring this year will have debts to repay, according to over-55s specialist advisers Key, owing on average £17,460.  Of those in debt, 48% still owe money on credit cards, 31% have an outstanding bank loan and 14% will still have a mortgage.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “With changes to the state pension due to start coming into effect this year, it is vitally important to understand the challenges and aspirations of the “retirement class of 2020”.  Today’s findings suggest that while most people work hard to retire debt-free, this is not the reality for one in three people who need to consider how they can service and repay over £17,000 in borrowing from their retirement nest egg.

“Even those with generous incomes may find this a stretch and people are taking an average of three-and-a-half years to clear the debts they retired with – at a time when they should be enjoying an active retirement and worrying less.”

Ways to boost retirement income

Other than continuing to work, there are various ways older people might be able to boost their retirement income and clear debts.

For example, one option may be to consider letting out a spare room. You can bring in up to £7,500 a year from doing this without having to pay income tax thanks to what’s known as ‘rent a room’ relief.

You may also be able to top up your retirement income by making sure you’ve tracked down any pensions you might have lost track of. Many people work for several different employers over the years and so could have money sitting in forgotten pensions.

Another option is to use equity in your home to pay off loans and other debts. However this is not something that should be entered into lightly, especially as it could affect any benefits you receive and will reduce the value of any inheritance you planned to leave, so you must seek professional financial advice first.

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Georgina Oxton, sales manager at LV= said:It is striking how the reasons why people are using equity release are changing. With pension income often being less than hoped for and high levels of consumer debt, an increasing proportion of customers are using the equity in their homes to pay off loans and outstanding mortgages.