If you are in good health, then 65 is no longer old. The investment industry is full of examples of people who are working past the traditional retirement age.
Fidelity fund manager Anthony Bolton recently postponed his retirement to 64, while fund manager of Templeton Emerging Markets, Mark Mobius, is 76, and Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett is 82.
So it is no surprise that new research from Prudential's 'Class of 2012' study found that two in five of those due to retire this year want to stay in work. Two-thirds of those who would like to stay in work do so because they want to remain physically healthy and mentally active. Working part-time is the most popular plan for those who wish to continue working.
However, despite legislation paving the way for the elderly to carry on in employment, age discrimination is rife, with a new court case potentially making it difficult for some professionals to carry on working.
Recent Office for National Statistics figures show that average retirement ages are rising, with men now retiring at an average age of 64.6, compared with 63.8 in 2004, and women working until 62.3 years, compared with 61.2 previously.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, says: "There is a new retirement reality taking shape across the UK, with thousands of people actively choosing to work past the traditional retirement age.
"The fact that so many of this year's retirees would keep working on a part-time basis is a strong indication that, for many, working is as much about staying young at heart as it is about funding retirement.
"Gradual retirement is an increasing trend among pensioners, whether this means remaining in the same job on a flexible basis or even setting up their own business. Those retiring at 65 will face an average of 19 years in retirement, which makes the financial and social benefits of working for longer an even bigger draw for a new generation of industrious retirees."
The default retirement age, which allowed your employer to make you retire when you reached the age of 65, was abolished last year. However, last month the UK's highest court rejected an appeal by a lawyer who claimed he was forced to retire at 65, in a ruling that allows companies to justify compulsory retirement for older employees on specific grounds.
In the most significant age discrimination case for many years, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of a law firm to retire one of its partners, Leslie Seldon. Clarkson Wright and Jakes used a partnership deed that allowed it to plan for succession and avoid the so-called 'dead men's shoes' – waiting for people to die or retire before they could be replaced.
In the case of Mr Seldon, who joined the Kent firm in 1971 and was made an equity partner in 1972, there was no issue that the application of a mandatory retirement age constituted direct age discrimination - the case concerned "how it might be justified".
In 2005, Mr Seldon and other partners in the firm agreed and adopted a partnership deed which provided that, subject to the partners' agreement to the contrary, partners who attained the age of 65 had to retire from the firm by the end of the following December.
Mr Seldon reached 65 in January 2006. Realising he would need to continue beyond that point for financial reasons, he asked the other partners to extend his tenure, but was rejected on the basis that there was no sufficient business need.
According to the government's website, www.direct.gov.uk, your employer can only make you retire if they have no reasonable alternative other than to introduce an age-based practice. For example, for a construction company hiring for physically demanding work that requires a good level of physical fitness, the employer might have a case for setting a maximum age for their on-site workers for health and safety reasons. Economic factors such as business needs and efficiency may be legitimate aims, but arguing that it could be more expensive not to discriminate will not be a valid justification. For example, a high street fashion store wishing to employ younger staff in order to complement their brand image is unlikely to be able to objectively justify this because it is not a valid aim.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Do you want to work into retirement? If so, what would you like to do? And how much work will you be doing?