Baby boomers working on, and on, and on

The UK is witnessing the march of a new type of retiree as the first post-war baby boomers pass the old default retirement age of 65.

According to new figures, more than one in three over-55s are continuing to receive a wage and nearly half are intent on using their extra earnings to travel more when they finish full-time work.

Data from the latest census in 2011 showed there were 754,800 people aged 64 in England and Wales, and almost 6.5 million people are turning 65 over the next decade compared with 5.2 million in the previous decade.

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The spike is due to the post-war birth rate soaring when the armed forces returned from the Second World War, with the new-born generation dubbed the “baby boomers”.

Allied with improved health care, more people are remaining active as they approach retirement age, and the latest Aviva report shows how they are pushing back the boundaries at work and in their leisure time.

One in four of those aged 65 to 74 were still wage earners in December 2012, compared with 18 per cent when the report first launched almost three years ago.

With 55 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 doing the same, compared with 41 per cent in February 2010, this trend looks set to continue as more baby boomers pass the age of 65.

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Despite 80 per cent being concerned by rising living costs over the next six months, the UK’s over-55s are determined to enjoy the benefits of extending their working lives.

Nearly half plan to use their extra time in retirement to travel more, while 42 per cent are focused on spending more time in their gardens.

Socialising is high on the agenda for many over-55s in retirement, with 37 per cent planning to invest extra time in their families and 33 per cent keen to socialise more with friends.

They also have philanthropic intent: two-thirds (66 per cent) of over-55s would be interested in carrying out charity work or volunteering once they have retired. The most common motivation is to give something back to the community (49 per cent) and to stay active by getting out of the house (48 per cent).