Unretirement Uprising: Redefining Passion and Purpose at 50 and Beyond – Tips to Join the Movement!

On average, a child born today will live to 103. By 2050, the under-55 working-age population will have shrunk by around 20% in Western countries. The population of over-60s in the same timeframe will grow by 40%.

So, whilst we are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, we currently have an outdated three-stage (education, work, and retirement) approach towards aging that no longer serves us.

I started 55/Redefined group of companies to disrupt the status quo and to champion the over-50 cohort.

We are for the vibrant, thrill-seeking, healthy, young-minded, future-focused, on-the-pulse, passionate, fun-loving, who have that you-bet-your-ass-I-can-do attitude who want to be a part of it. Simply put: we reject the idea that the most dynamic part of life is before 50. We advocate for age diversity, positivity and inclusion across all areas of life.

We’ve set out to do this by creating solutions for this generation to live longer, more fulfilling lives that in turn solve business and society’s greatest challenge – an aging population. Through three platforms – Work/Redefined; Jobs/Redefined and Life/Redefined – we support businesses to attract, engage, and retain over-50s employees and consumers, and add 10 productive years to life.

It’s Time for ‘Unretirement’ to Become an Accessible Choice.

The notion of a ‘job for life’ has faded in the last decade and a multi-stage life approach needs to be adopted, as a 60-year career is simply unsustainable.

It’s an issue well explained in Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott’s award-winning business book: The 100 Year Life. While people are becoming more conscious of their lengthening working lives, there’s increasing frustration about the rigidity of outdated models that leave people without options when it comes to their later life careers, and places a burden on economies.

Many employees at 50 and beyond are still highly ambitious and simply become bored or frustrated by the lack of challenge and leadership opportunities available as they reach the 50-year milestone. Many employers assume ambitions have declined with age which is simply untrue, – 66% of respondents in our Shut Out study said they would re-skill with their current employer, and 34% said they were keen for different challenges in their existing role.

So, if you’re a talented and energetic over-50 who is keen to shake things up in your career, embark on something new, or investigate a real passion or interest, the good news is things are starting to change.

3 Tips to Stay in Your Purpose and Passion at 50 and Beyond

Here are three tips on how to join the Unretirement Uprising and continue to redefine purpose and passion on your own terms, at 50 and beyond.

  1. Make Your Health and Wellbeing Your Number-One Priority

I recently interviewed Richard Branson for our Redefiners content series. As a 44-year-old entrepreneur who has been building businesses for 15 years, I cannot explain how exciting it is to spend time with 72-year-old Richard, who is still launching businesses. When I asked Richard what he’s been up to lately, he said, ‘oh, I just climbed Mount Kenya last week’, as if that’s the most normal thing in the world.

When I get asked what the most important trait you need to have to be an entrepreneur is, my answer is always resilience. You will hear more no’s than yes’s and have almost daily setbacks that for others would be insurmountable. It was strangely both reassuring and inspirational to hear that Richard’s experiences have been the same and even in recent years, he is still dusting himself off and picking himself back up where others would just choose the easy option to walk away.

I, too, fully intend to still be running and launching businesses for another three-plus decades, but in recent months, work has taken priority over my fitness. Richard’s passion for daily exercise and conviction that this is the superpower that enables him to stay sharp and strong, was the impetus I needed to make exercise a number-one priority for me again and not just something I do when I have the time.

  1. Redefine Life Based on Your Terms.

When it comes to careers, lifestyle, relationships and more, people tend to have a thing or two to say about when and how these things should be approached. Life is, however, not linear. It’s time to reject the idea that the most dynamic part of life is before 50.

I’ll let you in on a secret: There is no rulebook. Especially when it comes to aging and retirement. In fact, we’d go as far to say that the concept of retirement in its current form needs to be retired. We are big believers that you should be able to design a life you love and not stick to a restrictive framework. New career in your 50s? Why the hell not! Working three months a year and chasing ski seasons around the world? Find the love of your life in your 60s? Go for it. Out every weekend? That’s more like it.

From lifelong learning, to coaching to help decide on your next steps, and from seeking passions to fitting in adventure and prioritizing your wellbeing, make time to design life on your terms. If you need some further inspiration here, we have a Purpose Finder tool that can help.

  1. Share Your Story.

There are many entrepreneurs, leaders, creatives, philanthropists, scientists, lobbyists, everyday people, and more, who all, after the age of 50, are living their most-fulfilled lives. To shatter age-related stereotypes and create a world where our years do not define us, we need to do things differently. And do it loudly. Throw out the rule book! In order to create meaningful change, we then ask you to share your story. Visibility is an extremely important part of normalizing the fact that age is irrelevant.

Lyndsey Simpson, CEO, 55/Redefined Group, a UK-based company focused on the Future of Work for 50+

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