Why some people choose work over retirement

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 15 Nov 2013

When we think about what retirement might be like, most of us picture ourselves sticking our feet up on the couch, jetting off on lots of sunny holidays and doing whatever we want at our own leisure. Retirement can’t come soon enough for most workers, however, for others, it comes around far too quickly.


Work helps to keep the mind active

Andrew Wilkinson is a striving businessman who’s not ready to hang up his suit just yet. As well as working as a non-executive chairman of a South Wales based commercial property company, he is also chair of the governors at the University of South Wales and of Higher Education Wales.

Andrew didn’t intend on delaying retirement, ‘I didn’t plan to work later on in life, although I always wanted to retain an outside interest in work of some kind.” Unlike some would-be retirees who are forced to stay in employment to make ends meet, Andrew’s decision was down to choice “I think work keeps the mind active and there is a lot to be said for that” says Andrew. “I would certainly find it hard to switch off altogether, and although I plan to wind down slightly, I don’t plan on stopping work suddenly.”

Positive thinking has helped him to soldier on in his career “it’s important for me to remain positive, it’s simple: if you think you can do it, you can, if you think you can’t, you can’t!” Andrew also finds that working with good people is in itself stimulating.

Age should not be seen as a barrier

It’s not been an easy ride though, all of his positions have presented challenges in some way or another. “The role as executive chairman is certainly more demanding than I had expected. It’s a challenge to preserve and build upon the legacy of the founder of the business. Despite all the hard work, Andrew finds his job very rewarding “it’s hard earned but I gain great job satisfaction.”

As well as being in paid employment, Andrew also carries out a voluntary role as chair of the University of South Wales, which he’s very passionate about. “The University Chair’s role brings its own satisfaction because of the challenging environment in Higher Education”.

Although working later on in life is not for everyone, age should not be seen as a barrier for those who wish to continue in some form of work. “None of us know what is around the next corner and health is a critical factor that is precious” says Andrew. “I think it’s important we respect individual preferences but also recognise that some people have to continue to work to balance their income/expenditure needs”.

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