Retire? We'd rather work, say elderly

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The concept of retirement is rapidly being redefined in the developed world, according to a new survey published by HSBC this week. It shows that more than 70 per cent of people in countries such as Canada, the USA and Britain say they would like to work on in their old age.

The survey - the biggest of its kind ever conducted, with 21,000 participants in 20 countries - discovered that attitudes to retirement have shifted dramatically in the past few years, with increasing numbers now seeing their later years as a time for "reinvention" rather than a reason to end their working lives.

The HSBC survey said that, with life expectancy increasing, retirement is now more often being considered as a threshold beyond which people want to continue to work, but on their own terms.

More than one-third of Britons reported that they would like to work part-time in retirement. Across the world as a whole, about half of the survey's participants said they would like to switch between periods of work and leisure in their later years.

Dr Ken Dychtwald, HSBC's adviser on retirement, said he believed the older population, which is growing larger, may eventually reshape working patterns in the Western world, giving workers more opportunity to work flexibly and helping to break down age discrimination.

He said that only 9 per cent of the world's population now saw retirement as the beginning of the end. The British were the most positive in the world in their attitude towards retirement, he added.

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