Working beyond retirement: why fostering could be for you in 2022
If you’ve recently hung up your work hat or are having to face early retirement, you may be wondering about how best to spend these golden years. There are many things to do after retirement to make money, but fostering is more than just a pay packet. It changes children’s lives.
Why keep working after retirement?
Work is a huge part of the human experience. Whether you’ve worked in the same industry all your life or dipped your fingers into many different pies, our work gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. When it suddenly stops and you’re left with all the free time in the world, it can feel a little jarring, and it can also leave you feeling a little lost.
It’s been found that people who continue to work past retirement are more physically and socially active, which is great for maintaining positive mental wellbeing. Financial hardships faced due to the pandemic may also leave people with little choice but to get back into the world of work. This, combined with the fact there are many things to do after retirement to make money, is why there’s a record number of people carrying on with work after retiring.
Rewarding things to do after you retire
You’ve worked and saved up your pension to now enjoy your golden years, but you don’t have to sail around the world on a yacht to make these years count – however appealing that sounds! There are things to do after you retire that are meaningful, fulfilling and rewarding. Things that give back to the community and help to build better futures for people. We’re talking, of course, about fostering.
Fostering is a career unlike any other, in that you actually get to transform the lives of vulnerable children. Right now, there is a national shortage of foster families in the UK, but there are still roughly 30,000 children entering the care system every year. With a significant increase in referrals due to the pandemic and not enough foster parents available, vulnerable children are left without a safe, loving home.
Benefits of fostering after retirement
You’ve got time to devote to a vulnerable child
While it’s possible to foster a child and maintain another job, being retired means you’ve got the time to invest in a troubled child and help them develop into strong, independent young people. Even if a child is only placed with you for a few weeks, you’ll soon realise to never underestimate the impact you can have in a short space of time.
Your home will be full of activity
There’ll be fun, laughter and probably a few tears along the way, but it’s all part of helping children grow and heal from their past. No day is the same and there’s never a dull moment, keeping you on your toes and mentally active. If you’re looking to do things after you retire that keep you busy, fostering is a good choice.
You’ve got life experience and lessons to pass on
If you’re at an age where retirement is looking likely, or you’ve already hung up your hat, the chances are you’ll have a wealth of life experience that could be used to help young people create a better future for themselves. From relationship struggles to identity issues, you can pass on what you’ve learnt through life to a number of different children and leave a positive legacy.
It’s a rich, rewarding experience
As we’ve said, no day is the same, so you’re always learning as long as you’re fostering. Whether it’s fostering a child with learning disabilities or understanding how to deal with challenging behaviour in a training course, you get to grow both personally and professionally.
It’s a chance to give back to the community
Every child deserves to have someone fighting their corner and believing in them, and that’s exactly what a foster parent does. While not every young person in care has a history of trauma, as there are other reasons why children are removed from their birth families, being in the care system in itself can be seen as traumatic. All these kids want, deep down, is someone to show them love, and you could give that to a young person in your community.
You get a minimum 14 nights respite a year
Foster parents need breaks too, so we offer a minimum of 14 nights respite a year where the child in your care goes to another foster family while you get a well-deserved rest. This could be to spend time with birth children who live away or simply to put your feet up and recharge your batteries.
How to earn money after retirement through fostering
Foster parents work extremely hard in caring for children who may have been abused, neglected or experienced family breakdown. As an independent fostering agency (IFA), we’re able to reward our foster parents with a generous fostering allowance that reflects the tremendous work they do. The exact amount a foster parent receives depends upon the child’s age, the type of fostering placement and location, but our foster parents currently receive a weekly allowance of between £385 and £700 per child.
In the UK, how much can I earn after retirement?
In the UK, you can keep working for as long as you want to past the state pension age. As a foster parent, you’d be self-employed and would be required to file tax returns, however foster parents pay very little to no tax at all. This is because the government recognise the hard work they do in bringing up the next generation of children that have had difficult starts in life. This makes a big difference to your overall annual income.
There are many things to do after retirement but none quite as rewarding or meaningful as fostering. For more information on how fostering works, download our Complete Guide to the Fostering Process, or simply get in touch. One of our fostering advisors will be happy to answer any questions you have.