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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of continuing to work later in life and older people from the real IELTS general training exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Continuing to Work

Some people believe that it is a good idea that older people continue to work if it is possible for them to do.

Do you agree or disagree?

Many feel older individuals should be allowed to continue working long past the normal age of retirement. In my opinion, this is advisable for a minority who are still capable of working but the majority should enjoy other pursuits.

On the one hand, many older people find satisfaction in work. This is the case when their mental and physical health has not begun to deteriorate dramatically. The best examples of this would be those who in a technical or artistic field, such as designers, painters, actors, and poets. These individuals often do their best work later in life. Moreover, older people with less glamorous jobs may not have family to spend time with and need the emotional and financial support of a job. Without a job, it is common in many countries for retired individuals to feel needlessly adrift and without direction or security.

However, most older people struggle to adapt to changes in society and would be better served enjoying their retirement. Most jobs today require at least a passing familiarity with technology and old people can become a hindrance in such positions. This is negative for the employer but especially the older person who may feel unwanted. Instead, it is possible for older people, as long as they have the financial means, to dedicate more time to their family and pursuing their passions and pastimes. For instance, many retirees are able to devote time and energy to learning crafts such as woodworking and painting, thereby expressing themselves artistically and gaining a new sense of satisfaction.

In conclusion, the exceptional few elderly citizens who can still work to a high level should not be prevented from doing so though most should retire with dignity. This is the best solution for older generations.

Analysis

1. Many feel older individuals should be allowed to continue working long past the normal age of retirement. 2. In my opinion, this is advisable for a minority who are still capable of working but the majority should enjoy other pursuits.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. On the one hand, many older people find satisfaction in work. 2. This is the case when their mental and physical health has not begun to deteriorate dramatically. 3. The best examples of this would be those who in a technical or artistic field, such as designers, painters, actors, and poets. 4. These individuals often do their best work later in life. 5. Moreover, older people with less glamorous jobs may not have family to spend time with and need the emotional and financial support of a job. 6. Without a job, it is common in many countries for retired individuals to feel needlessly adrift and without direction or security.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Add more deatil.
  6. Finish the paragraph strong.

1. However, most older people struggle to adapt to changes in society and would be better served enjoying their retirement. 2. Most jobs today require at least a passing familiarity with technology and old people can become a hindrance in such positions. 3. This is negative for the employer but especially the older person who may feel unwanted. 4. Instead, it is possible for older people, as long as they have the financial means, to dedicate more time to their family and pursuing their passions and pastimes. 5. For instance, many retirees are able to devote time and energy to learning crafts such as woodworking and painting, thereby expressing themselves artistically and gaining a new sense of satisfaction.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.

1. In conclusion, the exceptional few elderly citizens who can still work to a high level should not be prevented from doing so though most should retire with dignity. 2. This is the best solution for older generations.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many feel older individuals should be allowed to continue working long past the normal age of retirement. In my opinion, this is advisable for a minority who are still capable of working but the majority should enjoy other pursuits.

On the one hand, many older people find satisfaction in work. This is the case when their mental and physical health has not begun to deteriorate dramatically. The best examples of this would be those who in a technical or artistic field, such as designers, painters, actors, and poets. These individuals often do their best work later in life. Moreover, older people with less glamorous jobs may not have family to spend time with and need the emotional and financial support of a job. Without a job, it is common in many countries for retired individuals to feel needlessly adrift and without direction or security.

However, most older people struggle to adapt to changes in society and would be better served enjoying their retirement. Most jobs today require at least a passing familiarity with technology and old people can become a hindrance in such positions. This is negative for the employer but especially the older person who may feel unwanted. Instead, it is possible for older people, as long as they have the financial means, to dedicate more time to their family and pursuing their passions and pastimes. For instance, many retirees are able to devote time and energy to learning crafts such as woodworking and painting, thereby expressing themselves artistically and gaining a new sense of satisfaction.

In conclusion, the exceptional few elderly citizens who can still work to a high level should not be prevented from doing so though most should retire with dignity. This is the best solution for older generations.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

long past far beyond

retirement the age when you stop working

advisable good idea to do it

minority very few

capable able to do it

majority most of

pursuits passions

on the one hand on the one side

find satisfaction feel good

This is the case when only true if

mental and physical health how healthy you are in spirit and body

begun started

deteriorate dramatically get a lot worse

The best examples of this would be greatest instances include

technical related to expertise

artistic field the arts

designers people who draw and create things

painters people who draw

actors people who act

poets people who write poems

best work later in life pinnacle of their career later

glamorous fancy

spend time with spent more time around

emotional related to feelings

financial support money

retired individuals people who have stopped working

needlessly adrift without purpose, lost

without direction or security no clear focus or path

struggle have difficulty with

adapt change

better served get more out of

require need

at least at the minimum

a passing familiarity some experience with

hindrance makes things worse

positions jobs

employer boss

especially in particular

unwanted not wanted, disliked

instead rather

possible can be done

as long as in the case that

financial means enough money

dedicate invest

pursuing their passions and pastimes do their hobbies

retirees people who have retired

devote give

energy strength

crafts items that you make

woodworking making things in wood

painting picture

expressing themselves artistically create artworks

gaining getting

sense feel

satisfaction enjoyment

exceptional few the best

high level well

prevented stopped

dignity respect

best solution ideal remedy

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

lɒŋ pɑːst 
rɪˈtaɪəmənt
ədˈvaɪzəbl 
maɪˈnɒrɪti 
ˈkeɪpəbl 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
pəˈsjuːts
ɒn ðə wʌn hænd
faɪnd ˌsætɪsˈfækʃən 
ðɪs ɪz ðə keɪs wɛn 
ˈmɛntl ænd ˈfɪzɪkəl hɛlθ 
bɪˈgʌn 
dɪˈtɪərɪəreɪt drəˈmætɪk(ə)li
ðə bɛst ɪgˈzɑːmplz ɒv ðɪs wʊd biː 
ˈtɛknɪkəl 
ɑːˈtɪstɪk fiːld
dɪˈzaɪnəz
ˈpeɪntəz
ˈæktəz
ˈpəʊɪts
bɛst wɜːk ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf
ˈglæmərəs 
spɛnd taɪm wɪð 
ɪˈməʊʃənl 
faɪˈnænʃəl səˈpɔːt 
rɪˈtaɪəd ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz 
ˈniːdlɪsli əˈdrɪft 
wɪˈðaʊt dɪˈrɛkʃən ɔː sɪˈkjʊərɪti
ˈstrʌgl 
əˈdæpt 
ˈbɛtə sɜːvd 
rɪˈkwaɪə 
æt liːst 
ə ˈpɑːsɪŋ fəˌmɪlɪˈærɪti 
ˈhɪndrəns 
pəˈzɪʃənz
ɪmˈplɔɪə 
ɪsˈpɛʃəli 
ʌnˈwɒntɪd
ɪnˈstɛd
ˈpɒsəbl 
æz lɒŋ æz 
faɪˈnænʃəl miːnz
ˈdɛdɪkeɪt 
pəˈsjuːɪŋ ðeə ˈpæʃənz ænd ˈpɑːstaɪmz
rɪˌtaɪəˈriːz 
dɪˈvəʊt 
ˈɛnəʤi 
krɑːfts 
ˈwʊdwɜːkɪŋ 
ˈpeɪntɪŋ,
ɪksˈprɛsɪŋ ðəmˈsɛlvz ɑːˈtɪstɪk(ə)li 
ˈgeɪnɪŋ 
sɛns 
ˌsætɪsˈfækʃən
ɪkˈsɛpʃənl fjuː 
haɪ ˈlɛvl 
prɪˈvɛntɪd 
ˈdɪgnɪti
bɛst səˈluːʃən 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many feel older individuals should be allowed to continue working l___________t the normal age of r__________t. In my opinion, this is a___________e for a m___________y who are still c__________e of working but the m________y should enjoy other p__________s.

O_______________d, many older people f__________________n in work. T_____________________n their m________________________h has not b________n to d___________________________y. T___________________________________e those who in a t____________l or a_______________d, such as d___________s, p__________s, a________s, and p______s. These individuals often do their b_____________________e. Moreover, older people with less g______________s jobs may not have family to s__________________h and need the e______________l and f___________________t of a job. Without a job, it is common in many countries for r__________________________s to feel n___________________________t and w__________________________y.

However, most older people s_______________e to a______t to changes in society and would be b______________d enjoying their retirement. Most jobs today r____________e a________t a______________________y with technology and old people can become a h_________-e in such p_________s. This is negative for the e___________r but e____________y the older person who may feel u____________d. I__________d, it is p_________e for older people, a____________s they have the f__________________s, to d_____________e more time to their family and p____________________________________s. For instance, many r________s are able to d________e time and e_________y to learning c_________s such as w___________________g and p____________g, thereby e_______________________________y and g___________g a new s________e of s______________n.

In conclusion, the e__________________w elderly citizens who can still work to a h______________l should not be p___________d from doing so though most should retire with d____________y. This is the b_______________n for older generations.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.ramseysolutions.com/retirement/how-to-retire-early

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Retirement

When do people in your country usually retire?

Should everyone retire?

What are the reasons that people do not retire?

Will retirement ages keep getting later?

What do retired people do in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Nowadays people live longer after they retire.

How does this affect individuals and society?

What can be done about this?


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