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For years and years I thought that 65 was the Magic Age.


In my mind it was a significant landmark in one’s working life, looming large and shining brightly on the horizon. A beacon that I was headed towards, confidently and purposefully. And it was always my intention to make a beeline for the retirement party to be held on arrival at this milestone.

But like me, as many people get closer to the traditional retirement age, this marker seems to pale into insignificance and is becoming barely noticeable.

Different signposts are appearing in the career landscape, pointing to unfamiliar pathways – ones I certainly hadn’t expected to see.

The straightforward retirement road map that our grandparents, or even our parents had used doesn’t seem to be working for many of us. Rather, we find ourselves in a more complex landscape, with signs pointing the way to various career pathways – senior entrepreneurship, portfolio careers, encore careers, un-retirement, reinvention, flexible working, graduated retirement, social enterprise…

People are working differently. Currently in NZ, one in five people aged 65-plus are in paid work, not necessarily full-time, but turning up regularly and receiving an income.

And it’s predicted these numbers will increase in coming years, up to one in three. That’s a lot of people over 65 doing work and life differently.

So… if 65 is no longer the Magic Age to be heading towards, what is?

With the longevity revolution upon us, an increasing number of people are reaching their 100th birthday.

Could the magic age now be 100?? If that’s the case, if that’s the marker in sight, then what adjustments should we be making to our plan for work and life? And … at what stage should we be thinking about that? Is now too soon?