Pensioner whose state pension wasn’t enough now makes £1,500 a month

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A grandmother lasted just two weeks in retirement before she realised she needed to remain employed, a decision which would help her maintain the lifestyle she previously had. Elaine France, 67, is now working as a brand ambassador at Blackjack Promotions in Manchester Airport in order for her to live comfortably in retirement.

Elaine told “I retired for two weeks and straightaway knew that it wasn’t for me!

“I am a people person; I love meeting new people and I really enjoy learning whether that be new skills or details about a new product on the market that we’re promoting.

“It keeps my brain ticking and being a brand ambassador for Blackjack Promotions I can do all these things every day. I absolutely love it! Each month I’m making around £1,500.

“I worked in retail for over 20 years but it’s different now and that’s exciting. Shoppers are craving experiences or ‘retailtainment’ as we call it at Blackjack Promotions.

“I may be 67 years old but I am ready to learn about new immersive and memorable retail developments. My grandchildren are very impressed when I tell them what my job is!”

She explained that to maintain the life she had as a retail manager she needed the income. Elaine now works around 30 hours per week and receives a private and state pension.

The role of a brand ambassador is varied which keeps it interesting for Elaine.

Whilst learning about different products, she gets to try new fragrances and drinks that she would never have been exposed to before.

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Because of the flexibility, it attracts lots of candidates that need to balance work with other responsibilities.

Elaine continued: “I don’t feel ‘old’ at work. Blackjack Promotions actively seeks over the 50s in its recruitment strategy which is fantastic.

“I receive a private pension and the state pension, but I want to maintain a life which involves lots of socialising and travelling and so I need extra income to make that happen.

“I love my holidays and just because I am of retirement age doesn’t mean I am prepared to give that enjoyment up.”

As the cost of living crisis continues, many people in retirement may be considering returning back to work.

The number of people returning to the workforce has reached a record high in a sign that the cost-of-living crisis could be forcing people to top up their incomes.

A net flow of 48,000 people moved out of economic inactivity and into employment between the three months to September and the three months to December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The movement was driven by young people aged between 16 to 24, and people between 50 and 64.

Elaine continued: “I think everyone needs help with the cost of living at the moment.

“It is hard for retirees who are relying solely on a state pension, that cannot continue to work.

“For me, I love keeping busy and being a brand ambassador for Blackjack Promotions doesn’t feel like work, so I am able to afford the life I had when I was younger and working more hours as a retail manager.”

Anyone receiving the full new state pension will get an extra £19 a week from Monday, April 10, 2023, onwards, while anyone who reached state pension age before April 2016 (and receives the full basic state pension) will get an extra £14 weekly.

That takes the former to £10,600 a year or £203.85 per week for 2023/24, from £185.15 in the last financial year, and the latter to £8,100 a year or £156.20, up from £141.85.

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