Seniors are participating more in the workforce now than ever before. Not only are we living longer, but we’re working, in one form or another, for a lot longer too.
One in five New Zealanders aged 65-plus are currently in paid work, not necessarily full-time, but turning up regularly and receiving an income.
That number is predicted to continue rising, to one in three, by 2051.
"You're too old, we thought you'd be younger" that's what job applicants have been told, says EEO Commissioner Jackie Blue.
Valuable and productive
New Zealand is seen as a great place to continue working into older age.
According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Kiwis stay in the workforce for longer than most other countries.
Our average age for females and men leaving the workforce is 66 years – the OECD average for women is 63 and 64 for men.
A survey about older people in the workforce shows:
- generally, crown entities find older employees more productive than younger ones
- 50% of respondents aged over 50 feel that they do not have sufficient savings for retirement
- older workers remain motivated and continue to seek challenges in the workplace
Read the Ageing Workforce survey
The Business of Ageing
The Office for Senior Citizens has recently released a report, The Business of Ageing, that shows older Kiwis are contributing billions of dollars to the economy, whether that’s through traditional work, or helping the community in various other ways (both paid and unpaid).
Seniors are a pretty powerful consumer group too, which is why using your SuperGold card can make a real difference to what you pay for things. With so many older people in our communities, businesses are starting to listen carefully to the wants and needs of seniors.
Staying financially independent
Even with so many older adults contributing to the paid workforce, many seniors may start to work reduced hours or might even be working for free as volunteers or looking after the grandchildren.
As your income goes down, or if you are adjusting to living off a fixed income such as your superannuation, it’s important to consider how you can remain financially comfortable and prepared for your future.
There are tools available online to help you budget and plan to make the most of your finances.