New trends in retirement employment

New trends in retirement employment

Seniors are defining a new term ‘retirement jobs’ and simultaneously creating a unique level of quality in the workforce. Never before have such experienced and historically productive workers been part of an extended career opportunity.

The recently released UN report Aging in the 21st Century concluded that population ageing is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century. It has important and far-reaching implications for all aspects of society. Around the world, two people celebrate their sixtieth birthday every second – an annual total of almost 58 million sixtieth birthdays.

With one in nine people in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to one in five by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored.

New Zealand has a rapidly aging population as shown by these UN statistics:

Statistic 2012 2050 est.
Number aged over 60 years 845,000 1,623,000
Proportion of population 19% 29%
Life expectancy at age 60 (male) 22 years 27 years
Life expectancy at age 60 (female) 25 years 30 years

The rapid adoption of technology by seniors is creating work opportunities not previously available for this age group. Today and increasingly into the future, seniors who are computer literate and willing to embrace new technology can be employed from home on flexible hours and undertake roles such as:

  • Phone operator using VOIP systems: The senior population is regarded by many employers as having better verbal skills, clearer pronunciation, and sound more knowledgeable, authoritative and more believable than someone in their early 20s who is often in a call centre.
  • Mentoring and coaching: Today’s younger generation want coaches and mentors to assist them with their business careers and personal lives. This role was previously filled by parents, grandparents or senior people within a company who had the time and inclination to provide such assistance. Today, many of these people are too busy and companies run ‘too lean’ so this coaching and mentoring role is contracted out to mature experienced seniors who can provide this role using technology.
  • Basic administrative functions and project work: The work force is becoming increasingly skilled, there is less investment in training and there is often no ‘surplus capacity’ within a business to handle what is often a fluctuating workload. This gives rise to the senior contractor who will visit the work force when there is work to be done or will undertake the work remotely from the comfort of their own home. Increasingly, businesses will have their permanent staff and then employ a bevy of part-timers to handle projects or basic administrative functions. Employers like the accuracy, values, and reliability of the senior workforce.

There is a growing trend amongst seniors to better manage their health - both physically and mentally. No longer is it the norm for people to enter retirement burnt out as their first work career was not as physically demanding as what it was last century. Middle and upper income seniors are moving into a second career where they undertake a gradual transition whereby they continue to work several days each week, they undertake programmed exercise to keep healthy, and are aware of cognitive decline so take steps to keep their minds active. Embracing technology is certainly one strategy to assist with this.

Talk to your Milestone adviser about ways to generate retirement income.

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