“They could get cheaper staff, so I just kept getting temporary contracts. My results were excellent.”
However, at that time, Julia was going through a divorce.
“I was under a lot of pressure and I couldn’t afford then to have these temporary contracts,” she explained.
Julia didn’t ask for maintenance payments, and the judge ruled she was “capable” and could build up her own pension pot.
“Well I was already in my mid-40s by then,” she remembered.
“I had never stopped working but none of it counted towards my pension. So I was starting then from a low point.”
Julia went on to work full-time at a very illustrious school.
“I kept working at this very very pressurised top independent school,” she said, explaining it came with a lot of stress.
“All the stress and everything, and you come into the menopause, and arthritis as well,” she said, adding: “I kept working, working, working until I got to 57, and I thought, I can’t do this full-time anymore.
“I’m going to have to go part-time. I just can’t do it from a health point of view.
“So I went part-time thinking, ‘Ah, I’ve only got three years to go and I’ll get my pension at 60’. But also my divorce settlement was based on the fact that I’d get my pension at 60, so I thought, ‘Do you know, I’ll manage’.
“I just did extra tuition at home and a few other sideline things just to try tide me over.”
However, it was after she had resigned from work that Julia found out the state pension age for women had changed – at that time – to 63 [which later became 66], meaning she would need to wait longer than she had planned to get the UK state pension.