I have three jobs and can never retire. I knew nothing about pensions.

Whether you’re planning a full-time job or traveling the world, everyone with a full-time job fantasizes about retirement.

So did Cecilia Floren, who was looking forward to getting back on her feet after decades of hard work.


Cecilia Floren works three jobs but can’t think of retirementCredit: Cecilia Floren

But Cecilia, 45, who works in marketing and public relations, says she can’t quit her job entirely, despite working three jobs.

Cecilia, who lives in Lymington, Hampshire, and her two daughters, Ronja, 19, and Maja, 14, reveal why they can’t retire. she says:

I ran upstairs and jumped into the shower.

It was a Friday afternoon and I had just come in from a cleaning job. I was working Monday through Thursday on my main job in Marketing and Public Relations, and I wasn’t done yet.

I work the weekend shift at a local pub and was due to go there tonight. I worked seven days a week just to pay the bills. Yet, despite the endless working hours, I already knew I would keep it going for another 30 years. There are probably more.

I was born in Kenya with little financial support from the government. At the age of 17, he moved to England to attend university, and at the age of 20, he got a job at a law firm.

Exactly one year later, I was incredibly proud when my friends and I teamed up to buy our first house in London. It felt very adult and wise.

Three years later my friend moved to Ireland and I moved back to Kenya.

But when a friend of mine got married in 2004, she wanted to spend the money on living with her husband, so we sold it.

Looking back, that was probably my biggest regret. Yes I got a nice lump sum but I wasn’t thinking about the future at the time. I invested in my mother’s business.

I’m still working and got a good job as an Executive PA. I didn’t work for a company in the UK, so I didn’t pay national insurance premiums, so I didn’t give it a second thought that I wasn’t contributing to my pension or my future financial stability.

We have been in Kenya for 15 years and in 2016 our daughter Ronja won a scholarship to attend a private school in Dorset.

I worked seven days a week just to pay the bills

Cecilia Floren

It was a really tough time. I had a good job in Kenya and thought I would be able to find a similar job here. Without a permanent address, I could not find a job, but without a job, I could not have a place to live.

We ended up at an AirBnB and got a job as a sales assistant for minimum wage, and even had a night job in a pub because three people wasn’t enough.

When we finally found a place to rent, the landlord asked us to pay seven and a half months of rent up front. .

After 15 months, I found a part-time job in marketing and public relations, but it wasn’t enough to cover all my expenses.

But I still had to keep working at the pub, so I started cleaning on my days off.

I was very tired, but I needed money. My savings remained terribly empty and I had no spare cash to send to her mother to support her living back in Kenya.

It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I started thinking seriously about the future. I lived in a rental property month to month, so I realized that if anything happened to me, the girls would be broke.

So, October 2020, just before my 44th On my birthday, I purchased life and critical illness insurance. The last thing I needed was to pay another bill, but I couldn’t take the risk.

Then, earlier this year, one of the recruitment agencies I signed up with, Working Wise, asked me to complete a survey about pensions.

When I started writing my answer, I realized that I had never thought about my pension.

I realized that if anything happened to me, the girls would be broke.

Cecilia Floren

I’ve always envisioned retiring at 60, but never really thought about how I could afford to do it. And now I was thinking about it, I was scared.

Looking through my old payslips, I discovered that I had paid into six private pensions over the course of my career. Even when I tracked them down, I wasn’t sure if it was best to keep them all separate or integrate them together.

When I consulted the helpline about contributing to the National Insurance, they said I could pay back some of it, but I couldn’t afford it.

I’m getting a pension from my current employer, but I haven’t been there in five years, so it’s too late to make a big difference.

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And now, with the cost of living skyrocketing and having to pay £950 a month in rent (which I know is relatively cheap), my future feels very fragile. I know I need to save money, but even with three jobs I can’t afford it. I am incredibly stressed and feel like I failed at something I didn’t even know I had.

I don’t know what I would do if the landlord decided to sell the property.

I was recently offered another higher paying job. Again, this is part time, but it means I can quit my pub and cleaning job while I have to keep my marketing job. I feel like I’ve taken a small step.

That said, I can’t imagine being able to quit my job after 30 years, let alone the average retirement age of 64 here in the UK.

This is not a sobbing story. It’s a reality. my reality. And something needs to change.

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Children should be taught about budgeting in school. When you receive your National Health Insurance Card at age 16, you will be notified of what your donation will be used for. People should know to ask about pensions in job interviews.

I have already started talking to my daughters about the future and advised Ronja to start saving for the future. I can’t let them make the same mistakes I did.

Retirement in the UK – Facts

The full basic public pension is £141.85 per week.

50% of older women plan to continue working after retirement due to the gender pension gap.

53% will lose financial independence from pensions

Celia has been working in pubs for extra cash for years


Celia has been working in pubs for extra cash for yearsCredit: Cecilia Floren
A mother of two wonders if she can relax after years of hard work.


A mother of two wonders if she can relax after years of hard work.Credit: Cecilia Floren I have three jobs and can never retire. I knew nothing about pensions.

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