Early retirement is dead - unless you have one of these jobs

The best jobs for early retirement

LONDON, UK - MARCH 12: Two police officers outside Westminster Abbey where Queen Elizabeth II attends the Commonwealth Day cerem

The early retirement dream is well and truly over for most of us. However, if you can't bear the prospect of working well into old age, there is an alternative. It may not be too late to move into one of a handful of professions where early retirement isn't entirely out of the question.

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See also: Over 40s have no idea of the cost of retirement

New figures from the Office for National Statistics has found that just 7% of people expect to retire before the age of 60, and 21% hope to retire between the ages of 60 and 64. By contrast, 57% of people hope to retire around their state pension age - between 65 and 69, while 15% of people expect to retire when they are over the age of 70.

As Nathan Long, Senior Pension Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown says: "Expectations of early retirement are all but over as we face up to the fact that living longer also requires working longer."

Every walk of life has seen retirement ages increase, so there are no longer large sections of society that can expect their employer to foot the bill if they put their feet up at the age of 50. However, there are still a handful of professions with a reasonable chance of getting your carriage clock while you are still young enough to enjoy retirement.

Unsurprisingly professional sportspeople don't have terribly long careers, so as a result there are special rules surrounding when they can access pensions. The youngest include athletes, footballers, tennis players and boxers who can retire at 35. Meanwhile, cricketers and golfers can retire at 40. Of course, you'd clearly have to be at the top of your game in order to be able to afford a retirement that's longer than your working life.

The rules have changed in recent years, but most soldiers can still retire at the age of 55 (assuming they have long enough service). However, once the new rules kick in entirely, most will receive a reduced pension until they hit state pension age. Compulsory retirement will kick in at 60.

Police Officer
The rules depend when you joined the police and how old you are, with some able to retire on a full pension at 50 (assuming they have long enough service), some at 55, and some at 60.

Air Traffic Controller
There's a mandatory retirement age of 60, because of the stressful nature of the job, and the fact it requires such close attention at all times. The pensions that controllers receive depend on how much they have built up by then, but their short careers are one of the reasons why controllers are paid so handsomely, and why they receive such generous pension benefits.

There have been lots of changes to the pension scheme, and the age at which firefighters can retire on a full pension has increased from 55 to 60. However this is still well before state pension age.

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