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Britain’s 2025 economy to be driven by army of ‘grey go-getters’


Research conducted by Barcan+Kirby in our new Citizen 2025 white paper reveals leagues of skilled, experienced and flexible grey go-getters will be driving the British economy come 2025.

Our figures reveal that 4.1m (56%) of those currently aged over 55 and who haven’t yet retired expect to work well past the current retirement age of 65. More than one in 20 (6%) plan to work beyond their 80th birthday.

In contrast, less than half (44%) of ‘millennials’ (adults aged 18-34) plan to work once they reach 65.

With figures revealing current retirees will need around £35,000 a year to maintain certain lifestyles, it’s no wonder Britain’s baby boomers see little reason to relinquish the way of life to which they’ve become accustomed and plan to remain in employment to continue funding it.

However, just one quarter (27%) of adults who haven’t yet retired plan to work a traditional 9-5 role come 2025. A quarter (25%) plan to work more flexibly through a variety of means including shift work, having more than one job, flexible or part-time hours or other arrangements.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Miller, Managing Partner, said:

“The UK’s ageing workforce is a key issue for the coming years on a number of levels. Whereas 65 was a fairly standard retirement age, our research clearly shows those aged 65+ wanting to work. This generation has a wealth of valuable skills and experience in contrast to the idealism of youth – employers are missing a trick if they do not look to this age group when recruiting.

Our research also sounds a note of caution for the younger generations, who may find themselves competing against older, more experienced workers – the ‘grey go-getters’.”

Despite the best intentions of this grey go-getting workforce to continue earning and funding their desired lifestyles, with the ever-diminishing state pension and increasing costs of later-life care, they will still need to have robust plans in place to ensure quality of life in their later years.

Angela Thomas, Partner + Head of Wills, trusts + probate, added We’re beginning to see what we might call a ‘middle-class care gap’, whereby people who would otherwise consider themselves fairly affluent find themselves thrust into public sector care homes as they have failed to plan adequately for the cost and length of later life.

With this we can expect further increases in multi-generational living, as housing shortages, the rising cost of childcare and an ageing population squeeze the traditional family unit at both ends. We should also consider care for the carers, as the age of carers themselves edges ever upwards – those in their 70s caring for parents in their 90s, for example.

With one million of the population likely to be suffering with dementia in 2025, we should expect a significant rise in the number of people putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney. Indeed, we’ve noticed an increasing number of people coming to us before dementia is even a near-term prospect for them.”

Further information

Our Citizen 2025 white paper looks at a range of issues that we in Britain will face in 2025, from employment to retirement and the UK’s ageing population, to family life, marriage and divorce, property, estate planning and inheritance. The paper includes expert comment from Saga, Relate, Mercer and Fox Davidson.

You can download the full Citizen 2025 white paper here.

If you would like to speak to someone about the paper, call our marketing team on 0117 325 2929.

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