Many people are working beyond normal retirement age. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
The idea of working beyond a statutory retirement age is attractive to many people as it provides a useful income, maintains social ties and, in many ways, inhibits the onset of so-called “old age”. Many people develop their life patterns over a long working life and if this is taken away from them can produce all sorts of problems both social and mental. Employers, too, welcome older workers as they often provide numerous acquired skills and these can be used to teach younger staff.
However, many older people do not represent a positive influence in the workplace. Many of them are resistant to change and with current advances in information technology, for example, are just unable to operate within a modern workforce. In addition, they could be taking up a position which could be filled by a younger person so, in extreme circumstances, could be adding to youth unemployment. One also has to accept that as one gets older one becomes less strong or agile, so in certain industries older workers are unable to perform adequately.
There are social considerations as well. Although it might be tempting for someone to work beyond retirement age, it may not be to their benefit. “You only have one life”, and it is finite. Therefore, one should consider one’s family, friends and hobbies, and consider whether continuing to work is the best option. In many cases it would be wiser to spend time with family and try to do some of things one has dreamed about before it is too late.