just woke one morning with a strong desire to make historical women’s garments,” Rebecca Olds, 50, recalled. Lesser urges must have occurred and passed unheeded. But Ms Olds, a former paralegal, and her husband, Adam Bell, 55, a three-decade veteran of financial services, were at a point in their lives ripe to invest in 17thcentury apparel.
“Last year I had a lot happening,” Ms Olds said. “My mother died, making me re-examine what I wanted from my work. I was also planning my marriage to Adam and designing my own wedding dress.
“He wanted to take early retirement and all those strands collided, so we sat down and asked, ‘what would we like to be doing?’ ”
More of us will have the chance to contemplate the same. Britons are living healthier, more active lives for longer. Government research predicts that by the mid-2030s half of British adults will be over 50.
A million more over-50s will be working or available to work in the next six years, as fewer, out of choice or necessity, retire completely. Since just last year 240,000 more of those aged 50-64 were employed, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, an association for human resources professionals.
Mr Bell and Ms Olds chose to use financial security obtained through years in “sensible” careers to join a trend for choosing a first career for money, a second for love, and ditching retirement altogether.
Ms Olds said: “I was no longer getting satisfaction out of my ‘intellectual work’. I used to make my own clothes and while I’d set that aside on leaving school 30 years ago I thought perhaps I’d be happier creating stuff than spending three hours a day commuting to an office.”
Careful money management by