The Evidence-Based Investor

Unretirement: what it is and why more people are doing it

Posted by Robin Powell on December 19, 2017

No one on their deathbed, as Rabbi Harold Kushner once pointed out, has ever said they wished they had spent more time at the office. And, for a large proportion of people seeking financial advice, early retirement is the ultimate dream.

In the sixth and final part of Regis Media’s new documentary Investing: The Evidence, financial planner Matthew Horrocks explains how helping clients to stop working sooner than they’d expected is central to what his firm, RockWealth, does.



“I presented to one client, just last week,” he says, “who believed they were needing to wait another ten years to retire. Actually I could show them they could retire five years earlier than that. That’s why we do this job — to see the smile on their faces when they realise they can stop working.”

This focus on early retirement is absolutely right and understandable. There are far more important things in life than work and business.

But it’s also worth noting that the concept of early retirement — and indeed of retirement in general — is, in historical terms, a relatively recent development. Until the twentieth century, most men carried on working beyond the age of 65.

Now we’re seeing an interesting trend towards people “unretiring” — in other words, changing their minds post-retirement and returning to work, part-time or otherwise.

According to recent research, about one in four retirees in Britain take up work again; those most likely to do so are well-educated and in good health, and, it seems, the unretirement is generally not financially motivated. A recent US study by the RAND Corporation produced similar results.

I’ve written a new article for InvestWithETFs about unretirement, in which I look at what it means for people investing for retirement today. You can read it here:

Have a plan but be prepared to change it


You may also like to read the following:

Unretirement: one in four Britons return to work (University of Manchester)

A quarter of Britons unretire within 15 years of retiring (FT)

The joys of unretiring: why Britain are going back to work (Telegraph)


And here’s a US perspective:

Unretirement trend sees many returning to workforce for challenges, camaraderie (TribLive)


ROBIN POWELL is the founder and editor of The Evidence-Based Investor. A freelance journalist, he runs Regis Media, a specialist content marketing consultancy for financial advice firms around the world. You can follow him on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

The Evidence-Based Investor is produced by Regis Media, a boutique provider of content and social media management to financial advice firms around the world. For more information, visit our website and YouTube channel, or email Sam Willet or Christina Waider.


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Robin Powell

Robin is a journalist and campaigner for positive change in global investing. He runs Regis Media, a niche provider of content marketing for financial advice firms with an evidence-based investment philosophy. He also works as a consultant to other disruptive firms in the investing sector. Regis Media.

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