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Book coming soon !

Retirement: The Essential Guide

Dianne Bown-Wilson

Publisher: Need2Know

ISBN: 9781861442994

We have all got to decide when to retire. The idea of giving up work sounds great -- but having too much time, and too little to do with it, does not! Yet today's retirees are different from previous generations. We are fitter, more youthful and more mobile. Slippers and rocking-chairs do not appeal: the contemporary retirement offers more.

At the same time, there can be anxiety around retirement. Can you afford it? Will you and your partner get on each others nerves? If you are on your own, will you be lonely without work to go to?

This book helps you prepare for a satisfying retirement, with vital financial and emotional planning advice. If you are already retired -- and already disenchanted with it -- there are masses of suggestions for breathing new life and energy into your time. There is detailed information on part-time jobs which welcome older people, plus ideas for creative projects, and mature dating. You will find reassuring and practical tips on everything from downsizing to ageing.

Its an essential guide that answers all your questions, and will inspire you to make the very most of your retirement.

Only just under a third, (32%) of us will reach 65 “healthy”

Discussion at the International Longevity Centre –UK, (ILC-UK) event held today (22 July 2013), revealed that only just short of a third of the UK population will reach retirement “healthy”. Gains in life expectancy have outstripped gains in healthy life expectancy, meaning that potentially over two thirds of people in the UK could find that they are living their retirement years in ill-health.

The debate on “Longevity, health and public policy” saw over 100 delegates from Government, the media and public policy, explore the challenges of increased longevity and the implications for an ageing society.

Issues, such as the government plans to encourage people to work longer and the standard of living that people will have, as well as level of care available, may all be undermined if these challenges are not tackled now. During the debate, participants argued that there was a need for greater awareness of the implications, so that Government, the financial services industry and individuals together may identify solutions to start addressing the issues now.

The event also saw the launch of a new factpack, Ageing, longevity and demographic change, sponsored by Legal & General, which includes stats and figures that highlight some of the major challenges that need to be faced.

The new ILC-UK factpack, which has been sponsored by Legal & General, collates statistics on our ageing society from a variety of reputable sources, providing, in a single document, details of key longevity trends and statistics, that will then be updated annually.

For example, statistics included in the factpack show that:

  • At 12.2 million, the number of pensioners in the UK is equivalent to the combined populations of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. ***
  • Around one-third, of babies born in 2012 in the United Kingdom are expected to survive to celebrate their 100th birthday. ***
  • Latest life expectancy statistics for England & Wales, show that a man aged 65 will live for 18.2 years and a woman aged 65, for 20.8 years***
  • Of the top four diseases in the UK, dementia, cancer, stroke and heart disease - dementia contributes to over 50% of the care costs, but receives only 6% of the funding.****

The Ageing, Longevity and demographic change factpack of statistics from the International Longevity Centre – UK is available on the ILC-UK website at

Rural living grim for many older people

Although many older people dream of retiring to the country, a new Age UK report, Later Life In Rural England, reveals that rural life can be a challenge for many.

The report finds that aspects of living in the countryside present serious obstacles for many older people. These include cuts to local bus services, a lack of nearby shops and services, high cost of heating and living, lack of access to health and social care and difficulties getting broadband.

Rural communities are ageing faster than other parts of the UK with approximately half of the rural population aged over 45, compared with 36 per cent in major urban areas.

Across rural England, the number of people aged over 65 with social care needs is projected to increase by 70 per cent over the next 16 years.

The number of cases of depression, stroke, falls and dementia is also projected to grow between 50 and 60 per cent, compared with up to 42 per cent in urban areas.

Age UK estimates that 1.5 million older people in rural areas are reliant on oil to heat their homes which frequently costs more than electricity and gas and can only be bought in large quantities, resulting in sizeable upfront costs.

In addition studies have found that prices in rural areas are typically 10-20 per cent higher than in urban areas.

Age UK is calling on the Government and local authorities to ensure that the needs and interests of older people are taken into account when rural policies and programmes are designed and delivered. Decisions on the future ofrural services should not be based simply on cost and the number of people using services. Local authorities must always assess the impact that cutting a service would have on older people.

Late Retirement May Help Prevent Dementia

New research from INSERM, the French government's health research agency, strengthens the argument that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. Their study of nearly half a million people supported the "use it or lose it" theory about using brainpower and staying mentally sharp.

It's by far the largest study to look at this, and researchers say the conclusion makes sense. Working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged - all things known to help prevent mental decline. According to the study, for each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 per cent.

About 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer's is the most common type.  As yet it isn’t known what causes the disease and there is no cure.

France has had some of the best Alzheimer's research in the world, partly because its former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, made it a priority.

However, the study results don't mean necessarily that everyone needs to delay retirement. The key message is that it’s important to stay cognitively and socially active, and to continue to be engaged in whatever it is that you find stimulating and enjoyable.

Grandparents are busier than ever

A new report by McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading developer of retirement apartments, shows that today most grandparents play a key role in the modern family set-up. 88 per cent of the 2,000 parents with children aged 0-18 who took part in their research said that they rely on grandparents for a huge range of daily and weekly tasks from taking children to the dentist, baking cakes for the school fete and waiting in for deliveries.

And 44 per cent of these parents also often get cash-handouts from their parents to ‘see them through the month’.

60 per cent said they need practical assistance because mothers go back to work after having children so rely on their mum and dad for help. And 61 per cent also attributed it to elderly people being in better health and living longer.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 58 per cent of parents would rather leave their children in the hands of their own parents than a child-minder. But 25 per cent said they could never afford to pay a professional to look after their children.

One in ten of those polled admitted they probably take their parents for granted, although four in ten said their parents know how grateful they are.

But it’s not only families who are benefiting from the kindness of grandparents. 43 per cent of grandparents are also involved in community work while 34 per cent also help out with charity work such as fundraising or working as a voluntary driver.

The poll found that more than a quarter of adults said they worry they put upon their ageing parents too much. And those polled estimate that if they had to cough up and pay someone for all the help their parents give them it would amount to £120.41 per week, or the equivalent of £6,261 every year.

But more than half of those polled said they never offer to pay their parents for their help, despite the fact that two thirds said they would be utterly lost without their input.

The top 20 most requested grandparents jobs were:

  1. Babysitting when we're on nights out
  2. Childcare if one of the children is ill
  3. Babysitting in the school holidays
  4. Painting and decorating
  5. Babysitting if we are away with work
  6. Cooking meals on busy days
  7. Attend school events
  8. Waiting in for a delivery
  9. Cutting the grass
  10. Collecting a parcel
  11. Small DIY jobs i.e. change light-bulbs, replace fuses
  12. Cleaning the house
  13. Putting up pictures, mirrors shelves
  14. Car maintenance
  15. Generally tidying-up
  16. Cooking cakes for school fetes
  17. Ironing
  18. Washing the family’s clothes
  19. Washing-up
  20. Tidying the garden

Could you help older people get online?

Most of us take technology for granted these days, whether we use computers, smartphones, tablets or even our televisions to get online.

But what about the seven million people in the UK who have never used the internet? 6.5 million are over the age of 55 years, and they are missing out on the many advantages it can offer – from managing finances online to using Skype to keep in touch with family and friends.

Taking that first step can be hard, though, which is why Digital Unite – one of the UK’s main providers of digital skills learning - is calling on communities around the UK to take part in its Spring Online campaign from April 22-26. It wants local people and organisations to hold taster sessions at libraries, schools, housing schemes, community groups - even pubs and cafes - to help older people and less confident users get to grips with technology.

Spring Online is one of the biggest digital inclusion campaigns in the UK and is now in its 12th year. Last year an amazing 2,000 Spring Online events all around the UK helped 30,000 people to get to get online, many for the first time

This year’s campaign aims to help thousands more people get online. It’s free to take part and you’ll be supported all the way with ideas, advice and marketing materials. There will also be the chance for event holders to win cash prizes. Take a look at for more information.

Book review:

Retirement Manual - A no-nonsense guide to a happy and healthy future

Stuart Turner

Haynes Publishing

This manual, published in August 2012 and presented in the Haynes tried-and-tested step-by-step layout, is a highly practical and informative guide to getting the most from your retirement.

Produced in a large format with plenty of colour pictures, bullet points and occasional cartoons it addresses every aspect of retirement, including how to spend your new-found leisure time, finance, mental and physical health, how modern technology can work for you, potential changes to your living arrangements, and the legalities of wills and coping with death and grief.

As a compendium of all things retirement-related, it appears comprehensive and easy-to-understand although one might argue that most of today’s retirees will already be familiar with much of the content. And, as ever, the relevance of some sections will depend on whether you are an early retiree (50s / early 60s) or a couple of decades older.

It goes without saying that fans of Stewart Turner and Haynes Manuals will find it particularly appealing.

Retirement Manual: The Step-by-step Guide to a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous Future


New book: The Genealogist’s Internet, 5th edition by Peter Christian

For anyone interested in researching their family history online, this comprehensive handbook is a must.  In a rapidly changing field it provides an essential guide for both beginners and more experienced researchers as it explores the most useful major websites and online data sources available, helping readers to navigate each one.  

This fully updated fifth edition is endorsed by the National Archives and features fully updated URLs and all of the recent developments in online genealogy. In around 400 fact-packed pages it covers a huge range of topics including:

·Online census records and wills, including the 1911 Census
·Civil registration indexes
·Information on occupations and professions
·DNA matching
·New genealogy websites and search engines
·Surname studies
·Passenger lists and migration records

·Information on digitised historical maps and photographs

The book also includes the impact of blogging, podcasting and social networking on family history research, allowing family historians to find others with similar research interests and to share their results.

Whatever your interest - whether you want to put your family tree online, find distant relatives or access the numerous online genealogical forums, discussion groups and mailing lists - this book is a must-have. It would also make a superb gift for someone who has talked about genealogy but not yet taken the plunge.

The Genealogist's Internet: The Essential Guide to Researching Your Family History Online


Ros Altmann on delays to State pension reform White Paper

Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, has produced a helpful paper outlining what people can expect from the Government’s forthcoming State Pension White Paper.

Commenting on the delays in releasing the White Paper she said,  “Radical reform of our pension system is vital and we welcome the commitment from Government to this agenda. The changes will not come fully into effect until 2016 so while it is good to inform people of what they can expect from the state pension as early as possible, it is important to make sure these changes are effective and not rushed."

“The new pension system will hopefully be far better for women and self-employed, fairer and simpler than the current arrangements and should ensure much-reduced means testing.  It is a long overdue and much-needed change.

You can access the briefing paper at


Women changing route: mid career to entrepreneur

Would you like to start a business? Facing redundancy and thinking about self employment? Have a business based on a lifelong interest now that your family are growing up? If so, come along and learn from the experiences of women who have decided to make the mid career move into self employment. The workshop will be run by Hilary Farnworth and Ann Reynard from the Centre for Micro Enterprise (CME) and the Comparative Organisation and Equality Research Centre (COERC) at London Metropolitan University. CME has trained over 700 women to start up small businesses and recently ran the OWLE50+ project for women 50+. Join us to consider the real life experiences of mid-career women, exploring their aspirations, strategies and tips to help you along the road to entrepreneurship.





The power of the ballot box

Sometimes it is very easy to think that we are the only nation in the world suffering from the various dilemmas now confronting us, in terms of, for example; economic woes, an ageing population, pension and care costs, youth unemployment, obesity, drinking problems and healthy living in general. And this list is by no means exhaustive. More>



Employing Older Workers

A new publication from the DWP (February 2013) seems well worth highlighting. Although it says nothing new (if you already have a rudimentary awareness of the issues), it does provide a concise and accessible summary for employers of the benefits of employing older workers and what to take into account. More>


  Laptop books education or ebook concept  

A great step forward in upskilling for older workers?

Interesting and potentially exciting news at the end of 2012 that a group of established UK learning institutions are joining forces to enter the world of MOOC provision. For the uninitiated (which, until reading this article, included me) MOOCs are ‘massive open online courses’ - training courses that typically free, conducted online and open to anyone who wants to participate. More>


Question Mark Head 2 Thinking young man
Older vs younger workers: to
what degree is it irrelevant?
I was interviewed on BBC Radio Sussex last week talking about why employers should hire older workers. The piece had originally intended to focus on why they should hire older workers rather than younger workers but fortunately, in the event, they steered clear of that aspect and took a more general approach. More>

New over 55s radio station
Adding new fuel to the perpetual debate about whether older people need or want specific (media) services is a new radio station – The Wireless from Age UK.  According to the press release promoting its launch the station’s raison d’être is to “celebrate later life” through providing a combination of contemporary music, current affairs and informative features More>

Ageing workforce starts to impact UK businesses

According to Aviva’s recent annual Health of the Workplace report* UK companies are now starting to see a change in their workforce demographics with 29% of employers in their survey reporting a rise in the average age of their employees. Alongside this, 37% expect to see their workforce get older in the future. More>


Hands up who wants a Minister for Retirement

In the past there have been various calls for a Minister for Older People or similar to focus on issues such as the provision of care for the elderly. Now retirement income specialists Primetime Retirement are calling for a Minister for Retirement to focus on retirement and pre-retirement issues More>


Do those who retire early live longer?

Should we aim to retire as early as we can or keep working for as long as possible if we want to live a long time? In addressing this question this article on the BBC news site busts some myths and shows how, if we read or hear something often enough, we will believe it is true. More>


Choice and consequences in the fight for a healthy old age

Constantly we read sweeping and often misleading generalizations in the press about today’s over 50s. Take these two articles which appeared in one recent issue of the Daily Mail: More>


You can teach an old dog
new tricks

Guest Blog by Stephen Mutch, Employment Associate, Pannone LLP
Older Employees can take a joke but more fool you if you think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks

When the age discrimination legislation was first introduced back in 2006, a large number of claims were expected based on ageist comments being made in the workplace. More>


An absolute must-see for all employers
Viewing BBC1’s two-part programme ‘The town that never retired’ should be made compulsory for all employers and HR professionals. Shown last week as part of the BBC’s current series on ageing, When I’m 65, it brought into the spotlight many of the issues and stereotypes surrounding older and younger people in today’s workforce. More

64% of businesses fail to provide retirement support
Most older employees are on their own when it comes to making decisions about retirement and working options in later life. According to a new report only 36% of employers provide their workers with guidance in the run-up to retirement. More

Proof that innovation isn’t the prerogative of the young
An inspiring story in today’s Metro concerns two women who four years ago, in their fifties, established Incredible Edible – a food growing and sharing scheme which has now been adopted internationally.



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