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Are you ever really retired?

Posted on 16 August 2016

Being retired isn’t what it used to be

The concept of retirement has changed a lot over the years. Once upon a time it meant finishing work one day and seeing out your days from the comfort of an armchair the next.

Today, we’re healthier and living longer. As a result, our retirement years have become a whole new (often long) phase of life, filled with less-sedentary adventures like travel and volunteering.

1.4 million Brits are still working

There’s another big change. Retirement is no longer dictated by a set age like it once was. Some people retire younger, some just reduce their hours, while others celebrate their retirement birthday and carry on with business as usual.

In fact, according the Office of National Statistics 1.4 million Brits are working beyond the typical retirement age. That’s almost twice as many as in 1993.

Some of us are missing work

Whether we retire early, later or bang on the dot, adjusting to life after work isn’t always straightforward. As much as we love to moan about the daily grind, employment forms a large part of who we are and comes with a whole host of social and emotional benefits.

When we retire we can find ourselves missing the banter, using our brains, feeling valued or even just having somewhere to be.

Now we’re busy on our own terms

Being fitter and more active in our “golden years” seems to be making us far more adventurous too. As retirees, we’re finding many different ways to enjoy the positive bits of working but on our own terms.

Spending time with family

Especially grandchildren. In fact, a lot of retired grandparents find themselves committing to more than just the occasional ice cream and trip to the zoo.

Tough economic times, coupled with expensive childcare costs, mean many of us are helping with childcare every week. Rewarding as it is, it’s important to keep our own goals in mind and not overdo it.

grandparents-hold-a-little-girl-wearing-sunglasses

Volunteering

Using the skills we’ve honed over a lifetime to change people’s lives by volunteering for charities and community organisations at home and overseas.

an-older-lady-helps-a-child-improve-his-reading

Coaching or mentoring

Using our professional knowledge to help others develop their careers and businesses. The Government encourages mentoring to help drive economic growth and sees the valuable role retirees’ can play in this.

an-older-carpenter-demonstrates-his-skills-to-two-teenagers

Learning

We’re making the most of free courses and choosing whatever subjects take our fancy from mastering a language to crochet. The popularity of the University of the Third Age is proof of how much we’re enjoying developing new skills in later life.

a-classroom-full-of-mature-students-listen-attentively

Pursuing hobbies and interests

Having time on our side means we’re free to indulge our hobbies and passions whatever they may be. More and more local groups are springing up aimed at the growing number of retired people keen to pursue their interests in the company of like-minded souls.

a-man-paddles-a-yellow-sea-kayak

Starting businesses

Some of us are even using our retirement years to fulfil a dream of starting a business. In fact, according to a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports, 18% of entrepreneurs are over 55, and 7.9% are over 65.

New pension freedoms are making it easier for budding ‘olderpreneurs’ to drawdown on pension pots to help fund business plans. And the best bit? Being older, wiser and more experienced adds up to a greater chance of success.

a-woman-stands-behind-the-counter-in-her-florist-shop

Travelling

Another popular wish fulfillment is travelling the world. Cheaper transport combined with better health makes retirees a travel agent’s dream customer. Many of us are enjoying the best of both worlds by ‘mouseholing’. Living in the UK in summer and jetting off to sunnier climes in the winter.

an-older-couple-walk-across-a-mountain-bridge

So are we ever truly retired?

When we’ve left work and are drawing a pension, then technically yes we are. But that’s where the traditional idea of retirement often ends.

These days many of us are busier than we were when we worked, but we’re doing what we want. We’re rightly making the most of being in good health and feeling 10 years younger than our parents probably did at our age.

After all, we could be a long time retired – 30 years is not unheard of. So the day will come when we slow down whether we choose to or not.

Retirement is no longer the end of the road. It’s the start of a new journey and another exciting stage in our life. Whether we choose to spend it with our feet up or running a marathon, the important thing is to feel positive and fulfilled – and to enjoy it.

If you enjoyed our take on retirement in the new millennium, you may also enjoy our take on The Great British Inheritance Tug of War, The Cost of Happiness in the UK today and How we Brits manage our money.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50 life insurance, funeral plans, life insurance, pet insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.