Older, healthier and working: Britons say no to retirement | Society | The Observer

This is a thoughtful and interesting article from the Guardian/Observer. It’s STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for a read, in my view. Check it out!

Older, healthier and working: Britons say no to retirement | Society | The Observer.

There are still lots of taboos and sensitivities about older people but it’s necessary to face up to the economic and social realities.

The percentage of the older “indigenous population” in many countries will grow alarmingly over coming decades. Apart from shifting the older people overseas, like Germany for example, the only way that the balance of younger people will be preserved will be with continued large scale immigration.

Because of UK Government policy under the previous Labour Government, many retiring peoples’ pension pots are much smaller than envisioned. More widely, Western governments have struggled with the political complexities of adjusting pension policies to reflect the changing domographics.

So older people, will typically have smaller savings and pensions, so they are faced with real decisions:

  • Turn to their family?
  • Turn to the state?
  • Turn to themselves?

Of course, as the article describes, there are many older people who will be delighted to continue working, given the chance, but this fails to address the vast majority. Surely, the vast majority will be not have the skills, competence, stamina, and health to continue working?

Let me turn this around to an open question:

How should Government policy change to give older people a greater chance of working in their later years, addressing issues of skills, competence, stamina and health?

Any thoughts?


Retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

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4 responses

  1. Well, for a start I have to say that I do not believe in coercion but rather in incentives. Old people fall into various categories and one answer definitely does not fit all. I have enlarged on this on my blog but here I would say that we have to consider the whole spectrum from willing-and-able through to unable and to unwilling. See you at http://rodsblogspot.wordpress.com/

  2. Pingback: Working on into old age | Rodney Willett

  3. Pingback: A Hard Look at UK Government Policy for the Elderly – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  4. Dr Alf poses an excellent question which it is difficult to answer without understanding where the country really is economically and in terms of health in the population.

    Much of this is not known to people because they have been fed misinformation and successive Governments have been doing things in secret which, if they were known about, would cause uproar.

    The vast majority of the present generation of older people are ill equipped for the work of the future unless they are educated or have businesses of their own and reasonable health.

    In the past, the Grim Reaper solved the problem because the average British man would work until age 65, receive a gold watch and his old age pension, live for 7.7 years and then die.If they were married their wives would outlive them by about 6 years. Since then,the rate of medical advance has increased this to about 85 for men and perhaps longer for woman, as life expectancy between men and woman has narrowed to around 4 years. The official figures are deliberately understated as I know from sources within the surveying and polling industry.

    Since there has been a fall in UK productivity to 16% below the average for the G7 and only 1.4% growth since 1946 there is no possibility that 50% of our young people will ever work or that many of the over 65s will be able to continue to work in conventional employment. Indeed with a small improvement in productivity, we could have decades of jobless recoveries and a burgeoning pensions bill.

    The solution adopted up to now has been to:

    –Ration medical care to the over 65s, put carcinogenic chemicals into the environment and foodstuffs, packaging, tinned goods and till rolls, put sugar into food and effectively kill them off by stealth.
    As an example the incidence of cancer in 1934 was 1 in 80 and is now 1 in 2.5 today.

    –Allow unfettered immigration of people who are more hardworking from Eastern Europe to drive down wage rates and generate enough money to keep these older people who are no longer working and are essentially an economic deadweight,particularly if they are uneducated,have no savings and live in council houses.
    This did not work because the NI fund ran out in 2000,(Isaw the insurance company submissions to Government in 1998 whilst on interim assignment which predicted this).

    Much of the drain on the fund was caused by pensions and unemployment benefit paid out during the Thatcher Years up to 1992.

    Since the Banking Crisis we have had falls in Petroleum Revenue Tax due to people driving less and the next generation of smaller fuel efficient cars.

    This money was used along with Lottery monies earmarked for good causes to plug the gap in NHS funding but is insufficient because of the dementia epidemic caused by poor eating habits and the lifestyles people led in their teenage years and the chemicals put into the environment and the food chain in secret to try and stop the present rate of medical advance in its tracks.

    In fact the measures to put harmful chemicals and additives into food and the environment, taken by successive Governments under the direction of the Alimentarius Commission have caused another problem which is the Adult Social Care Crisis which in turn threatens local authority funding of County and Unitary Authorities,the London and Metropolitan Boroughs and City Councils.

    The Government has been able to live on monies generated by the City of London and secret oil and other revenues from places in certain countries in the Middle East with repressive regimes based on the Arabian Peninsula and where we sell arms from BAE Defence Systems.

    The City has been relegated to 2nd place after New York and will soon fall to 4th after Hong Kong and Singapore so still doesn’t have enough money.

    The latest wheeze is carbon taxes to plug the gap but without Road Pricing which most people and businesses cannot afford.

    These can only be applied by stealth through importing food which is rising in price (VAT on packaging,food miles,ingredients for processed foods ) and on fuel bills(as the climate cools people rack up higher fuel bills there is VAT on those) and if they can afford it they go on holiday(hence rising airport charges and air passenger duties.

    Similarly by reducing self sufficiency in energy we import more fuel and VAT can be extracted from that source.

    The price of Lottery tickets has also been doubled as a “belt and braces” voluntary tax on incredibly stupid people or those who have an occasional flutter.

    In addition, the education system has been deliberately dumbed down at State level to try to make people easier to control but with the result that many of our people who are now over the age of 65 were unproductive when they were younger and did not create enough wealth to sustain themselves in old age.
    This compounded by falling productivity and export levels in the official economy and the lack of job readiness in the young.

    None of these measures has worked and the Government is hoist with its own petard but cannot and will not come clean because of the political repercussions.


    –Create Business Boot camps for the over 50s, displaced from corporate life, and turn them into small business people

    –Create Government backed reverse mortgages for those over 65 with sufficient equity in their houses to live on and then get those people to perform voluntary or caring work for charities

    –Ship demented and Adult Social Care recipients without relatives to India and other places where they can be looked after for much lower cost

    –Create enclaves for older people without money,organised into self sufficient co-operatives in which food would be grown and consumed and retired builders could supervise the erection of comfortable systems built accommodation via Hof Haus on concrete footprints created on edge of town land.The people living there would maintain the hedges and the estate,clean,cook for each other and provide services on a bartering basis which would mean that they would require little or no money except charitable donations.

    Through better diet and education about self care plus the use of Rife machines they could remain self sufficient,reasonably healthy and most of the time not need doctors with the exception of emergencies.

    –Create Business Boot Camps for school leavers without an academic mindset and get them into self employment at an early stage so that when they are old they can be self sufficient
    These Boot Camps would be paid for by stopping the Barnett Formula,stopping all overseas aid and stopping military adventurism of an unwarranted kind.

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