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At the age of 61, you might think that Margaret would be looking forward to retirement. Yet for her and millions of other women, being able to retire with a pension is an impossible and unaffordable dream.

FT podcast: Reinventing yourself in your sixties

Claer Barrett talks to listener Margaret about her change in career. Listen here

Because of a change in the law, Margaret won’t get her state pension until the age of 66. She has relied on working as a supply teacher to pay the bills. But here’s the irony — employers don’t want to hire older workers.

And as she tells presenter Claer Barrett, decades spent working for agencies means she has minimal private pension savings.

After hundreds of unsuccessful job applications, Margaret came up with another idea — she has gone back to university as a mature student to study English and creative writing.

Lindsay Cook, the FT’s Money Mentor columnist, explains how women in Margaret’s situation can work with what they’ve got to maximise their income in retirement, and Stuart Lewis, founder of over-50s online community Rest Less, has plenty of tips for older jobseekers.

If you would like to talk to Claer for a future episode, please email the Money Clinic team at money@ft.com with a short description of your problem and how you would like us to help.

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