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This Business English lesson plan on retirement has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

Retirement is something people may be looking forward to, or may be something they are dreading. People are finding it increasingly difficult to save up for their ‘golden years’ and the age of retirement seems to increase every year. In this Business English lesson plan on retirement, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as how to save for retirement, retirement plans and what they would like to have accomplished by the time they retire.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.


Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

CNBC | “Here’s how many Americans have nothing saved for retirement”

The article talks about the proportion of Americans who have nothing saved for retirement, and a few pieces of advice for saving for the golden years. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? What is the situation in the students’ countries?

Video activity
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is a TEDx Talk by Carl Seidman called “Why I Retired at 32” which suggests taking interim retirements throughout our lives in order to refresh, re-energise and reinvent ourselves.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including the retirement age, state pensions and what the students would like to do when they retire.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with retirement such as nest egg, lump sum and pension deficit. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about retirement. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as jobs people could do in retirement, why men and women retire at different ages and why the age of retirement keeps rising.


After the class, students will write to their colleagues advising them of their plans for retirement. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.


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