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Over 50’s advised to take gap years

Pension expert Ros Altmann, recently named as the Government’s business champion for older workers, has called for the older generation to embark on gap years in a bid to get them working for longer.

The suggestion received the backing of pensions minister Steve Webb, who agreed that employees in their 50’s should be able to take gap years before returning to the workplace, and noted that it could tie in well with new pension freedoms.

Speaking at her own official introduction to the role of older worker business champion, Ros Altmann said: “Why not have gap years for older people to study or travel? You can make a new start in your fifties, it’s not the end of anything, it’s just the beginning.”

“One forgets that a lot of people by the time they reach their 50’s have been working since the age of 15 and they might be ready for a break. Most of them never had an opportunity to take a gap year, like young people just automatically take advantage of. They never stayed on at school, never mind going on to higher education, so there are a lot of them who would benefit hugely.”

“So often people think that if you stop, that’s it, and it’s a permanent stop. It doesn’t need to be a permanent stop unless you make it that.”

Altmann also suggested that workers wouldn’t even have to take the full year out of work if people didn’t want to. A few months could be used to travel, re-train for their current occupation, or for another one that didn’t exist when they started to work.

The pensions minister Steve Webb also echoed Altmann’s theory, adding, “Just because you’re in your 50’s and suddenly travel and learning is for other people is nonsense – I think we’ve got to be more creative about getting fresh experiences and going back to the workplace reinvigorated by that.”

The biggest concern that most over 50’s have is over travel insurance. Most people find that with their older age bracket and a larger likelihood of medical conditions pushing premiums sky-high, they can’t always afford the cover, leading to people travelling unsafely without travel insurance or restricting themselves from the many opportunities that travel can bring. Insurancewith offer people of all ages with all sorts of medical conditions affordable longstay and backpacker travel insurance.

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