Retiring gracefully ... and gradually? 04 February 2015 Simon-Readhead-QC clinical negligence, costs, Damages, LP damages, LP Quantum, personal injury, quantum, Schedules (0) Most personal injury lawyers think a lot about retirement. This can be their own, in my case usually when grappling with costs budgets, but is more likely to be that of the party whose claim they are advancing or opposing. The date of retirement is crucial to the value of a loss of earnings claim. Most personal injury schedules claim full time working to age 68 or even 70. Most counter schedules contend for retirement at age 65. However, new research shows the way people view retirement is changing. Nearly two-thirds of people aged over 50 no longer think that working full time and then stopping work altogether is the best way to retire and around half would still like to be in work aged between 65 and 70. YouGov surveyed more than 2,000 retired and non-retired people aged over 50. https://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/11/05/concept-gradual-retirement-attracts-non-retired-ad/ The survey showed: 39% of over 50s not currently retired said that working part time or flexible hours before stopping work altogether would be the best way to retire. 48% of those under 65 and not currently retired would still like to be in work between 65 and 70. 36% of retirees say their advice to others would be to “consider switching to flexible or part time work for a period first” before stopping work altogether. 33% of those over 70 and still working said they did so because they enjoyed it. The survey also suggests that some non-retired people over 50 both in and out of work were ready to learn new skills. Nearly half (47%) said they were interested in attending training courses to learn new or to update existing skills. There are lessons here for both schedulers and counter schedulers. An absolute retirement age of 65, 68 or even 70 may now be unrepresentative. Gradual retirement is increasingly the trend at least in England and Wales. In “The Later Years of Thomas Hardy” (Macmillan, 1930), Florence Emily Hardy reports the author’s observation that: “The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job”. I cannot promise still to be working beyond age 70. If I am, I can promise it will not be on costs budgets!