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CABA reports increasing concern among older accountants due to changing work and pension situation

17th Jan 2014
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Accountants approaching retirement are increasingly concerned about their options thanks to a range of changing work and financial options and pressures, says Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Association.

The charity reports that it is receiving an increasing number of calls from accountants aged between 55 and 70 who are looking for guidance in a wide range of areas.

Kath Haines, chief executive, said: “CABA has long provided advice to retiring accountants but in the past it has centred almost entirely around the quite sudden adjustment needed as they leave their familiar working lives.

“Now, there are different issues arising. With the disappearance of compulsory retirement and a longer life expectancy, some are unsure whether they should keep working and, if so, what kind of work they should be doing.

“Another issue is, of course, pensions. Many are facing retirement with a much reduced pension income than they imagined would be the case a few years ago because of a move away from final salary schemes and a lower than expected stock market performance. They want to talk through the impact that this will have.

“Although we are not able to provide specific financial advice, we can help accountants to consider all of the different elements of their life that will be affected by retirement and support them in adapting to their new circumstances.”

Kath added that many accountants continued to struggle with longstanding retirement issues, such as suddenly spending long periods of time without the structure that work has provided for them over decades.

She said: “We are, for example, quite often asked for relationship advice by people who have retired. Couples who have spent quite limited amounts of time together over the years are suddenly spending almost all day, every day in each other’s company. There is often a quite fraught period of adjustment.”

CABA provides a series of resources for those of retirement age on its website, caba.org.uk, and has recently held “Preparing for Retirement” courses in conjunction with ICAEW.  

Kath said: “The courses we have held provide common sense advice for retirement and provide a structure for people to start thinking about what they might want to achieve and where any foreseeable problems may arise.”

ICAEW and CABA have also teamed up to provide a website where volunteers can search for roles and where not-for-profit organisations can look for volunteers.   

She added: “Many accountants are, by nature, what you might call ‘do-ers’ and do not want to spend every day of their retirement on the golf course. They want to use their skills to help and there has been a strong response to the volunteering website.”

More details on this free to use service can be found at www.icaewvolunteers.com.

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