When does old age start?

I was waiting in the village hall for my Pilates class to start when my eye wandered onto a poster on the notice board. An advisory session for older people was being promoted for the over 50's!! As someone who is in their early 50's that was a bit of a shocker. I certainly don't feel in any way 'old' and retirement seems well into the future.

What is 'old' in our society nowadays? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just published research that questions our perception that old age starts at 65; the traditional point of retirement. The ONS states In 2018, a man aged 65 could expect to live for another 18.6 years, while a woman could expect to live for 21 more years. So, on average, at age 65 years, women still have a quarter of their lives left to live and men just over one fifth. The ONS highlights how different a 65 year old is nowadays from one fifty years ago in terms of health and mobility. They question whether 70 should be the new 65 or should we rather be looking at old age as a movable concept based on when a person has 15 years left to live.

These are important questions for workplaces looking at succession planning as well as pension schemes trying to accurately predict longevity.

Our top tips for managing an older workforce include:

+ nip in the bud any comments that could be regarded as discriminatory such as references to "Grandad"

+ never make assumptions about what older workers think, are interested in or will want to do

+ consider how learning can be passed to the next generation of workers but remember, there is no default retirement age so dates will be fluid

+keep your reward package under review - does it support the recruitment, retention and motivation of older workers?

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