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Concept of retirement 'should be abolished'

03 July 2012

A leading economist has recommended the modern world's idea of retirement should be abolished, as it is not useful.

According to Robert Skidelsky, professor of political economy at Warwick University, the concept of retirement was only created around 100 years ago, as people previously used to work until they died.

Keynes

Writing for the Guardian, the co-author of How Much Is Enough: The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life stated the idea of retirement causes problems in finance and occupation, while John Maynard Keynes had predicted that by now people would only need to work 15 hours a week to have enough money to get by.

"Keynes's reasonable expectation was that leisure would increasingly oust work from the centre of our lives. The rich never had to work for a living; Keynes thought that as societies got richer, this exemption from toil would spread to more and more people," Mr Skidelsky pointed out, with leisure expected to be the focus of life rather than work.

He called for a better distribution of wealth and income across society in order for this to be made possible, but in the meantime many individuals will still have to work until late in life.

Equity release plans

Some may choose to use products such as equity release schemes to give them a financial boost that allows them to leave their jobs early, as these allow homeowners to unlock money from the value of their home.

Phil Triggs, head of pensions and treasury at Warwickshire County Council, recently backed a plan by Lord Hutton to encourage people to continue working until later in life.

According to a report by Public Service, this would contribute to bringing public sector pensions down to a cost that the government could afford to meet.

Those who want to find out more about unlocking money from the value of their home may find it useful to try the equity release calculator from Key Retirement Solutions.

Posted by Tom Papworth