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Women, money and retirement – interview with Jill Shaw Ruddock

Interview by Ceri Wheeldon

Women, money and retirement

Women, money and retirement

Jill Shaw Ruddock is the author of ‘The Second Half of Your Life’  , inspiring women to rethink ageing and growing older. Viewed as a manual for second half of life, Jill wanted to open the discussion regarding the freedom the second half of life, and living through and beyond the menopause can bring.  Jill has also founded the Second Half Foundation, a centre where those in the second half of life can come together and avoid the isolation which can be prevalent in later life.

I asked Jill about her thoughts on finance in retirement.

What prompted Jill to write her book

Open up the dialogue to act as springboard to the second half of life. Hormonal changes help women become more confident about second half of life. We become more testosterone dominant so it;s true when they say women become better with age!


What has she learnt from her foundation in terms of people’s emotions connected to retirement?

Many dont want to retire. We have a ‘back to work programme’. Need to re-evaluate retirement if we are living to be 90  and 100 we need to rethink retirement and how we engage people in the workforce. Barclays doing something f. Talented and wise workforce. Talent and wise  workforce feel not needed or wanted..

Do people’s financial backgrounds/financial security affect their ability to cope with retirement?

By time thinking or giving up work living in biggest asset – their home. Downsizing – use that money to do other things.

This would enable people to do more during retirement – who needs a  5 bedroom family home  when it is now just the two of you. Downsize, release the equity and take the pressure off the second half of your life.

This has got to be a message we instil into younger people right? (being active and engaged leads to healthier/happier retirement?)

Living longer – biggest problem facing world. Ageing population – has to be at top of political agenda. Impact on  society, assisted dying, healthcare with dementia etcetera.  Endemic for every age group. Even my daughters are concerned about ageing, living longer and preparing for it.

How would she like to see government support retirees better?

Default retirement age abolished.  Increasing pension age – ensure people stay in jobs and continue to earn money – a positive thing. Focus on keep working. Government made clear not getting pension until later so have to keep working.

How can we encourage people to see retirement as a new lease of life?

Places people can come together and continue learning. Second half centre. 220% payback to NHS by having centres. Tackle social isolation. Can govt put together model.  Social isolation biggest problem re ageing.

What are Jill’s top tips for preparing financially for the second half of your life?


Know how many years you are planning for

Know what your annual expenses are

Know where your money is

Don’t risk money you cannot afford to lose

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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