Healthy pensioners keen to stay in the workforce
Diana Crossan has no plans to stop work.
At age 68, the former Retirement Commissioner doesn’t need the money, but she has skills she wants to keep using, and she has life missions she wants to complete.
A survey from BNZ shows Crossan’s attitude is far from unusual.
The bank found 46 per cent of respondents wanted to keep working past the official pension age of 65, just like Crossan.
BNZ’s Financial Futures research showed two-thirds of those keen to stay employed were motivated by the value and satisfaction work offers.
‘‘I don’t really plan to stop,’’ Crossan said. ‘‘I have changed the way I work. I went for a fulltime job when I left the Retirement Commission to run the Wellington Free Ambulance, and I did that for 41⁄ years.’’
But she had now moved to working part-time for ‘‘lifestyle’’ reasons.
Some of her efforts were paid, such as chairing Massey University’s Fin-Ed Centre Board.
Some of her work was charitable: ‘‘I wanted to put some of my time into things that have worried me for many years.’’
A former probation officer, Crossan firmly believes New Zealand imprisons too many people, and she is working for sentencing reform.
Crossan is haunted by a memory from early in her career of a young woman she tried to keep out of prison. The woman, convicted of burglary, had been raped almost daily by her father during her childhood.
Though she did not need the money, Crossan said she would not work for nothing if there was payment going.
Paul Carter, BNZ’s director of retail and marketing, said: ‘‘Many people are fitter and healthier in their 60s and 70s than previous generations and more are keen to keep working for longer.’’
‘‘Working longer opens up all kinds of opportunities for people, including changing the way they view their finances.’’
But 31 per cent of survey respondents admitted they would need to carry on working past age 65 just to make ends meet, he said.
Fortunately, many did not see that as a hardship.
‘‘While we know it can be tough for those who have to keep working to pay their bills, it’s great to hear that so many more people continue because of the positives about work,’’ he said.
Diana Crossan has given up her fulltime role at the Wellington Free Ambulance, but she does not plan to retire, even though she does not need the money.