B&Q employee celebrates 90th Birthday


Albert Billington, one of the UK's oldest workers and B&Q's oldest staff member, celebrated his 90th birthday by arriving for work at B&Q. He has worked for the company for over 23 years - starting after retirement from the print industry at the age of 67. The Store Manager said: "He really is a shining example of the fact that age is really just a number and that you're only as old as you feel."

But is this a great example of how working in retirement can be good for your health as well as your wealth - or is this a worrying sign of the future?
Record numbers of people are already continuing to work past 65. Research from Saga shows that 27% of people who are currently over the age of 50 expect to work past this age. B&Q is proud of the diversity within its workforce with over a quarter (28%) of store employees aged over 50.


Research from Prudential shows that one of the driving forces behind working later is that people are not ready to stop work at 60 or 65. More than half (55%) of those considering working past State Pension Age believe it would keep their minds and bodies active and healthy, compared with 40% who are motivated by boosting their retirement incomes. Almost as many (38%) say they would be happy to work on simply because they enjoy working so much.

Saga also say it's good for business, pointing out that: "As people in later life are more likely to bring extensive knowledge and experience to a job, Saga encourages employers to be more open to employing older workers."

And the group argues that it's good for the economy: "By keeping more over 65s economically active, we will be improving the medium term job prospects for the economy, since millions of older people pulling out of the labour force with inadequate pensions would leave less money to spend on leisure, services and consumption which ultimately means fewer jobs and lower growth for younger generations too. A social revolution seems underway, and the more people embrace these opportunities, the better for all of us."

The negatives

However, there is a flip side. Many are working on because they simply don't have the means to retire. Stan Russell, Prudential's retirement income expert acknowledges: "Retiring at 60 or 65 years old is no longer a financial reality for many people."

For some people, working in retirement is not a positive lifestyle choice. It's a case of slogging to a job they have long-since grown sick of. Alternatively, it can mean taking on work they take no pleasure from and get nothing out of but a paltry paycheck at the end of the month. For them the idea of celebrating their 90th birthday at work is a living hell.

But what do you think? Would you work in retirement? Let us know in the comments.

Seven retirement nightmares
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B&Q employee celebrates 90th Birthday
Figures from charity Age UK show that 29% of those over 60 feel uncertain or negative about their current financial situation - with millions facing poverty and hardship. Even though saving for retirement is not much fun, the message is therefore that having to rely on dwindling state benefits in retirement is even less so. To avoid ending up in this situation, adviser Hargreaves Lansdown recommends saving a proportion of your salary equal to half your age at the time of starting a pension. In other words, if you are 30 when you start a pension, you should put in 15% throughout your working life. If you start at 24, saving 12% of your salary a year should produce a similar return.
Many older couples rely on the pension income of one person - often the man. Should that person die first, the other person can therefore be left in a difficult position financially.
One way to prevent financial hardship for the surviving person is to take out a joint life annuity that will continue to pay out up to 67% of the original payments to the surviving partner should one of them die.

The disadvantage of this approach, however, is that the rate you receive will be lower. Again, the Pensions Advisory Service on 0845 601 2923 is a useful first port of call if you are unsure what to do.

Around 427,000 households in the over-70 age groups are either three months behind with a debt repayment or subject to some form of debt action such as insolvency, according to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).

Its figures also show that those aged 60 or older who came to the CCCS for help last year owed an average of £22,330. Whether you are retired or not, the best way to tackle debt problems is head on.

Free counselling services from the likes of CCCS and Citizens Advice can help with budgeting and dealing with creditors.

Importantly, they can also conduct a welfare benefits check to make sure you are receiving the pension credit, housing and council tax benefits, attendance and disability living allowances you are entitled to.


The average UK pensioner household faces a £111,400 tax bill in retirement as increasing longevity means pensioners are living on average up to 19 years past the age of 65, according to figures from MetLife. And every year in retirement adds an extra £5,864 in direct and indirect taxes based on current tax rates to the costs for the average pensioner household. You can be forced to go bankrupt if you fail to pay your taxes, so it is vital to factor these costs into your retirement planning.It is also important to check that you are receiving all the benefits and tax breaks you are entitled to if you want to make the most of your retirement cash.

The cost of a room in a care home in many parts of the country is now over £30,000 a year, according to figures from Prestige Nursing and Care. So even if the prime minister announces a cap on care costs - last year the economist Andrew Dilnot called for a new system of funding which would mean that no one would pay more than £35,000 for lifetime care - families will still face huge accommodation costs. Ways to cut this cost include opting for home care rather than a care home. Jonathan Bruce, managing director of Prestige Nursing and Care, said: "For older people who may need care in the shorter term, home care is an option which allows people to maintain their independence for longer while living in their own home and should be included in the cap." However, the only other answer is to save more while you can.
Older Britons are often targeted by unscrupulous criminals - especially if they have a bit of money put away. For example, many over 50s were victims of the so-called courier scam that tricked into keying their pin numbers into their phones and handing their cards to "couriers" who visited their homes. It parted consumers from £1.5 million in under two years. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Barnard, head of the bank sponsored dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit (DCPCU), said: "Many of us feel confident that we can spot fraudsters, but this type of crime can be sophisticated and could happen to anyone." The same is true of boiler room scams that target wealthier Britons with money to invest, offering "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities to snap up shares at bargain prices. Tactics to watch out for include cold calling, putting you under pressure to pay up or lose the opportunity for good, and claiming to have insider information that they are prepared to share with you.
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