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My financial life: why I have to work in retirement

Sylvia Glover has worked consistently since retiring nine years ago and believes older people have a lot to contribute to society.


by Michelle McGagh on Mar 23, 2012 at 14:18

My financial life: why I have to work in retirement

Sylvia Glover, who lives in Wideopen in Newcastle, has remained part of the community by working in both paid and voluntary positions since her retirement, and says she still gets the same job satisfaction she did 50 years ago.

Sylvia turns 74 next month but has been working consistently since she retired in 2003 aged 65.

She is part of a growing trend that has seen an estimated 1 million retired people take up some sort of work. Read 'Pensioners return to work as poverty and boredom take their toll' for more details.

For 28 years Sylvia worked as an auxiliary nurse for the NHS but when she reached retirement age was unsure of the rules and thought she had to stop working but admits she would rather have continued nursing.

Sylvia took the decision to go back to work as a ‘bank nurse’ for the NHS – a nurse that provides cover at short notice or supports full-time nurses over a short period of time.  

After her daughter had a baby she went to Nottingham to help her and when she came back home applied for a job covering the ‘twilight’ shifts for her local primary care trust. As she was 68-years-old at the time she didn’t think she would get it but was successful.

‘When I came back from Nottingham the [local] surgery was short on evening service and I started working the twilight shift between 5pm and 10pm,’ says Sylvia. ‘I work eight shifts a month…but I can still do my gardening in the daytime because I don’t start until 5pm.’

Sylvia’s husband also took a job in retirement, delivering medicine to Boots pharmacy customers, although Sylvia adds that ‘he did all sorts; they [the people he delivered to] had him changing light bulbs and taking out bins!’

He worked three mornings a week but has recently given up working.

Topping up

Working in retirement has helped Sylvia and her husband to keep active but it has also had a much-needed financial benefit.

‘It definitely helps financially because we haven’t got big pensions and working has allowed us to do the things we want to do,’ says Sylvia.

The couple moved into an easier to manage bungalow and their incomes allowed them to make a number of home improvements. Without the income from her job, Sylvia would not be able to visit her older sister in Florida as regularly as she does.

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