Retirement for musicians can be very different compared to other professions. Some continue to perform or write well into their 70s and 80s, while others find their musical prowess diminishes in their 50s and they can’t find the work they did before. Some move into teaching or different careers. Every musician has their own story.
A common theme is that, through no fault of their own and because of the insecure pattern of work and financial rewards, many musicians are unable to save for their retirement and have little or no pension provision. That’s where we can help.
Our work is targeted at people who cannot afford an adequate standard of living, have unexpected needs, or who are ill. We aim to help them live an independent life and enjoy a decent standard of living.
This is about more than just surviving. We agree with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s definition:
A minimum standard of living in Britain today includes, but is more than just, food, clothes and shelter. It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society. ‘A Minimum Income Standard’, 2012
This often involves financial help, with our resources targeted at those who need it most. This can be a regular quarterly payment, or help with sudden unexpected expenses.
Regular visits and social contact are an important part of what we do. We aim to visit everyone who gets regular financial help once a year, to keep in touch and make sure our help is still appropriate. We also have volunteers who do a wonderful job visiting older musicians to provide companionship and support.
We recognise that, as people get older and more frail, they may need increased help to maintain a dignified, independent existence. In these circumstances we are more likely to supplement our regular support with additional help such as respite breaks (for the older person and/or their carer) and help with mobility or domestic aids and adaptations.