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Silver self-employed: The latest growing group of contractors

Paystream News

Thursday 2nd Nov, 2017

The so-called silver self-employed - over-65s who are offering access to their skills and expertise on a contract or freelance basis - are the UK's latest growing group of limited company contractors.

According to new research from Intuit QuickBooks, a growing band of older workers are choosing to carry on working on their own terms instead of retiring, meaning they can carry on earning into their later years and ensure their hard-earned knowledge is not going to waste.

Benefits of contracting for over-65s

Intuit QuickBooks found that over-65s are able to earn more by working for themselves, often providing access to their skills on a consultancy basis, passing on their years of experience to younger workers at various firms in their sector. Businesses are generally happy to pay for access to this expertise, with 71 per cent of 'silver contractors' revealing that they either earn more or the same as when they were employed full-time.

Meanwhile, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of over-65s said they were happier and had greater life satisfaction after making the move to become their own boss. Some 68 per cent of respondents said this was because they had the flexibility to work exactly when and how they wanted to, while 23 per cent admitted they liked the sense of achievement they got from being in control of and completing their own workload.

Dominic Allon, Vice-President and Managing Director of Intuit Europe, commented: "Self-employed is often associated with the likes of millennials, creatives in design agencies, teenagers writing code in their bedrooms, or Deliveroo drivers buzzing around our cities on their bikes. But the 'Definitive Study of the Self-Employed' aims to challenge our assumptions and help us truly understand this workforce.

"With bigger savings pools and a lifetime of acquiring skills and expertise combined with economic factors such as the state pension age increase, 'silver self-employed' workers are fast becoming an economic force in the UK."

Help for silver contractors

Another benefit of contracting in later life is that people can carry on earning, but also spend more time with their grandchildren and other loved ones, as they can choose their own working hours to get the right balance between work and life.

Yet over one-third (35 per cent) of respondents said they weren't fully confident when it came to the accounting side of running their own limited company, which meant they were often left trying to sort out their books in their free time.

Mr Allon added: "Financial management is the cornerstone of any successful self-employed worker. Without a clear understanding of what's going out and coming in, individuals are not set up to succeed."

As a result, many would benefit from engaging with My PSC, PayStream's limited company accountancy service. My PSC is there to provide advice and support with the administrative side of running a limited company.

This means silver contractors can spend their working hours concentrating on completing their assignments and their free time can be their own to spend with their grandchildren or enjoying semi-retirement, safe in the knowledge that their company accounts are in safe hands.