FAR FROM RETIRING!
Working in later life has become more common — and villages across the country are providing office spaces to meet demand
Working from home is not a trend confined to those below retirement age. The modern retiree is ripping up the rulebook and working long into later life. And retirement communities are making it easier for them to do so by creating google-like hubs and rooms with TV screens where they can host virtual and live meetings.
residents are taking on all kinds of jobs; some are still running their own businesses, others are retired teachers working as exam invigilators, part-time professors and graphic designers.
‘Today’s retirees are very active and dynamic — so we need to keep pace with what they want,’ says nick Sanderson, CEo of Audley Villages, which has 20 communities in the Uk.
‘if that means providing business areas, then that is what we will do, particularly for those who are less physically able and want to host business meetings on site.’
Long gone are the days when you’re handed a carriage clock on reaching the age of 60 or 65. Some retirees love working so much they can’t imagine retiring.
And it’s not just a matter of keeping solvent financially. Working is a means of challenging the brain and keeping up with the modern world.
All those puzzles at the back of newspapers are helpful — but so too is putting the final touches to a spredsheet or business plan.
Lindsay Bradshaw, 68, a homeowner at McCarthy Stone’s Haworth Court in Chorley, Lancashire, works full time as a graphic designer and has no intention of hanging up his drawing board ( mccarthyandstone.
‘i am enjoying my life. i am fit and well and driving a 40-mile round trip a day. i don’t like working from home and being on my own. i like working with others and exchanging ideas.
‘But when i do retire i have everything i need here. Work is good for wellbeing. it keeps you active and fit — i even go swimming after work. it’s good for the brain, too.
‘Another big benefit is that i am on a good wage which is useful now the cost of living is going up.’
There’s job satisfaction too. ‘My young graduate line manager told me he admired my work ethic, which was a nice compliment.’
Dick Turpin, 86, works full-time running the engineering company he started 45 years ago.
originally from Leeds he moved to a two-bed apartment at Audley Binswood in Leamington Spa ten years ago after his wife died. And he has been commuting to his office in rugby ever since. ‘Work has sustained me over the past ten years,’ he says. ‘Binswood is a beautiful place to live and work. When i am not in the office or travelling, i have meetings in the library here and i can entertain clients in the restaurant.’
resales at the grade ii listed development start at about £595,000 ( audleyvillages.co.uk).
in days gone by, there was a strong demarcation line between work and home. invariably it involved a commute into an office and the thought of working from home was akin to skiving.
Covid’s Unretired, a 2021 survey f rom the retirement Villages group, revealed that one in 10 people over the age of 70 were heading back to work following the pandemic or staying in fulltime employment.
As a result, the operator is in the process of devising a community plan to offer more flexible working spaces in the communal areas of their 17 villages.
JAnEBriggs, a Methodist lay preacher, runs her own accountancy business, partly from her apartment at the 275-home Elmbridge Village in Cranleigh, Surrey, operated by rVg. ‘Working gives me energy and motivation,’ says Jane, 67, who also has an office locally where she employs six staff. ‘running an office outside the village and having clients in the wider community keeps me engaged with the wider world,’ she adds.
She has also converted her second bedroom into an office. ‘it’s great to be set up at home too. Living at Elmbridge Village means i don’t have to worry about the garden or maintenance and can focus on the business — and going on holiday.’ ( retirementvillages.co.uk). Martin Earp, CEo of riverstone Living, which has two retirement developments in London with homes for sale, finds not all residents want to work in their apartments. He says: ‘ They want to create a professional image and environment and that’ s what we can offer. We also have the latest technology so people can make presentations.’ ( www. riverstone living.com).