When we look at reasons to continue working past traditional retirement age, it’s often money and pensions that are the focus. Yet, retirement has changed and there are many other reasons why you may decide to continue working in some way past the traditional retirement age.

Research conducted by Aegon looked at global views on retirement. It found that half of Brits readily see themselves delaying retirement and continuing to work beyond the age of 65. In contrast, just 22% of workers in France see this future for themselves. Whilst money will be a factor for some individuals that want to carry on working, it’s far from the only reason.

Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, commented: “People are increasingly redefining their working years and time spent in retirement. There’s also a growing recognition that in addition to supporting our wealth, work can protect our health too.

“An increasing State Pension age will explain why some see themselves having a longer working life, but the research shows an interesting association between health and remaining in employment. Today’s generation of workers recognise that one of the best ways to protect their health is to remain active and that work can be part of an active life.”

Are you considering working beyond traditional retirement age? These five reasons may make you think about delaying retirement.

1. You enjoy your work

Whilst there may be aspects of your role you dislike, simply enjoying your job overall may be a reason to keep on working past traditional retirement age. Some 37% of people surveyed said this was one of the reasons they thought they’d delay retirement when the time came. For many of us, our work is a crucial part of our identity and something we’ve strived to achieve. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to retire or still have career goals to tick off, don’t feel pressured to retire just because you’ve reached a certain age.

2. To maintain mental wellbeing

Work is often stimulating for the mind and helps you retain the skills you’ve built up. Losing mental capacity may be a fear as you grow older. In fact, 55% of people said they wanted to prolong their careers to keep active and their brain alert. The research indicates this is the most important benefit for continuing to work identified. This was reflected by 41% stating that fears of Alzheimer’s or dementia were among their largest retirement concerns. As a result, remaining in work in some way could help you look after your mental health.

3. Physical benefits of work

In addition to mental health, those planning for retirement are also worried about declining physical health, an issue highlighted by 48% of people. To put this into context, it compares to 40% of people worrying about running out of money in retirement. If you have an active job, retirement can be crucial for keeping your body healthy and contributing to the exercise you do. Even if you have a relatively sedate job, walking to work or taking a stroll on your lunch break could mean you miss out on vital exercise when you retire if you don’t replace it with other activities.

4. Benefit from the social side of working

The benefits of employment often go far beyond the actual job you’re doing. You probably spend much of the day with colleagues during your working week. As a result, socialising can be an important benefit to keep in mind when you’re thinking about giving up work. Whether you’re friends with colleagues and make plans outside of work or simply enjoy the general chat in the office, retiring can have a big impact on your social life. It may be something you overlook when weighing up the pros and cons of retiring at first, but you may find it’s a reason you miss working.

5. Phased retirement is appealing

When you think about giving up all forms of work in one go, it simply may not be appealing. In fact, just 28% of workers in the UK favour a traditional ‘cliff-edge retirement’. For many approaching retirement, a phased approach to leaving work is more attractive. It’s an option that can allow you to create the work-life balance that’s right for you. This may mean cutting down the number of hours you work or taking extended holidays throughout the year. The number of people wanting a ‘cliff-edge retirement’ in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe and is part of a growing trend towards retirement that offers greater flexibility.

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