The recent announcement that 96-year-old Prince Philip was stepping down from public duties became one of the few retirements in history to have gained such worldwide media coverage.
A transition from work to retirement can be one of the most difficult life changes to navigate, particularly for those who have worked for a very long time.
While The Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement may have seemed to be sudden to the public, there is little doubt that Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s advisers will have spent months planning his step out of the limelight.
Now there is no default statutory retirement age of 65, many people will choose to continue in employment well past that age for financial or lifestyle reasons. This can be a positive move for staff and employers as it retains skills and knowledge in the workplace for longer but it can make the move all the more difficult when the time finally comes for employees to leave.
While few employers will have nonagenarians working for them, every business should have a strategy in place to assist staff for a move to a life after paid work.
Here are some simple steps that can help:
• Suggest an initial move to shorter or more part-time working hours. This can help people adjust gradually to a life outside of paid work
• Bring in outside agencies to help with the planning. This could be financial advisers or education providers to look at courses an employee could enroll on when retired
• Research voluntary organisations that would welcome the commitment, skills and experience of older workers to support them
• Consider retaining older employees on a consultancy basis to help with the transfer of knowledge from one working generation to the next.