02-03-2016

South West Economy 2025

South West Economy 2025: economy to be driven by army of ‘grey go-getters’ 

56% of South West 55s in employment expect to work well past retirement age

One in 20 plan to work after their 80th birthday

Job for life dead but work for life alive and kicking – 8% plan to work after age 76

Fox Davidson feature in the new research from Bristol-based law firm Barcan+Kirby2, launched today, reveals leagues of skilled, experienced and flexible grey go-getters will be driving the nation’s economy come 2025.

Released today in Barcan+Kirby’s new Citizen 2025 white paper, the South West figures reveal 56% of those currently aged over 55 in the region, who haven’t yet retired, expect to work well past the current retirement age of 65, with one in 20 (5%) planning to work beyond their 80th birthday.

With figures revealing current retirees will need around £35,0003 a year to maintain certain lifestyles, it’s no wonder the South West’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 a third of adults (34%) in the South West who haven’t yet retired plan to work a traditional 9-5 role come 2025. Thirty eight per cent (38%) 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.

The UK’s ageing workforce is a key issue for the coming years on a number of levels. Legally, employers can’t discriminate on age, they must focus on capability of their employees when making decisions. Indeed, whereas 65 was a fairly standard retirement age, our research clearly shows those aged 65+ wanting to work. And of course, they also want to work part-time, flexibly. 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 (and perhaps more used to hard graft) workers – the ‘grey go-getters’.” said Chris Miller, Barcan+Kirby managing partner.

Meanwhile, while they hope to work for some years yet, many people in the region are underestimating life expectancy, with women in particular underestimating it by around three years.4

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.

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 ends5. 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 20256, we should expect a significant rise in the number of people putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney for both finances and health and welfare decisions. Indeed, we’ve noticed an increasing number of people coming to us before dementia is even a near-term prospect for them,” said Angela Thomas, head of Wills, Trusts and Probate, Barcan+Kirby.

Barcan+Kirby’s Citizen 2025 white paper looks at a range of issues that people across the UK will face in nine years’ time, from employment to retirement and the 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.

The Citizen 2025 white paper also reveals:

Rising rates of mental incapacity – a third of fee earners expect between 21% and 30% of those aged 70 to experience some kind of mental capacity issue

The renting renaissance – in 2025, it is estimated that more than 30% of households will rent7. Indeed, more than half (53%) of those in the South West who don’t currently own a property never plan to own one, and people in the region don’t expect to buy their first property until the age of 38.

To download a PDF of the Citizen 2025 whitepaper please visit: https://barcankirby.co.uk/