While most actors would be looking to do nothing more than tread the boards once or twice a year to stave off boredom and most history professors settling down with a few books and a pipe, Indiana Jones and the actor who plays him, Harrison Ford, have hit the big screens for a fourth time.
With the former carpenter-cum-Han Solo hitting 65, many movie fans would have been forgiven for thinking that a follow up to the blockbuster trilogy, so long promised by producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg, would never arrive.
However, Ford has donned the fedora and is cracking his bull whip for what is surely likely to be the last time – particularly given the lukewarm reception it has generated in the world’s media – in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Two decades after he last played the archaeologist, the Hollywood star’s ability to pull off an action-movie lead role have been brought into question, with up-and-coming actor Shia La Beouf drafted in to take care of the more rigorous car chases and fist-fights.
Ford explained: "I don’t think we handle the age question. We ignore it
"Age has its virtues and it has its disadvantages. I think we embrace the reality of the passage of 20 years of time. We are not coy about it, we aren’t constantly commenting on it, but the guy is 20 years older."
Pensioners on a mission just to get by
Sadly, Indiana Jones is not the only one now having to work past the age of retirement. Millions of Britons are either having to, or face the prospect of, doing likewise, though instead of trekking through the Amazonian jungles to defeat megalomaniacal Communists, UK pensioners are being forced to don a headset at the local call centre or stack shelves in a supermarket simply to get by financially when they should be doing nothing more strenuous than playing golf or knitting.
A recently-published report from Axa entitled ‘The Golden Generation of British Pensioners’ revealed that just 64 per cent of workers over the age of 50 believe that their pension income will be sufficient for them to enjoy a comfortable standard of living.
A significant number of the remaining 36 per cent are resigned to the fact that they may have to take on at least part-time employment after they pass the normal retirement age of 65 and, though some may choose to carry on working for social reasons, for the most part this is far from ideal.
Significantly, it looks like this situation could become even more widespread over the coming years as workers continue to fail to put money away for their retirement.
Brits need to whip their future finances into shape
The latest pensions index from Scottish Widows shows that, on average, Britons are putting away 7.9 per cent of their gross income each year with their retirement in mind, the same amount as they were doing in 2005 despite the increased cost of living witnessed over the past three years.
This also falls far short of the insurer’s savings target of 12 per cent, meaning many could be in serious trouble once their 65th birthday has come and gone.
Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, concluded: "Despite pensions being front page news for much of the past year there is still some way to go before the nation is truly on track – when you strip out those people that are relying on final-salary schemes, three-quarters of the UK population is still not on track for a comfortable retirement."
At particular risk are single women and those in low-paid employment, while those working within the public sector and benefiting from final-salary schemes and those on high incomes should be fine.
As Harrison Ford will no doubt be advising the younger members of the Indiana Jones crew, it pays to think ahead and start saving early, or else the prospect of working past 70 is an all too real one, especially now it appears that the days of falling back on rising housing equity are well and truly gone, to be replaced with a slow economy and soaring day-day living costs.