26 March, 2021

Rethinking retirement age

If 60 is the new 40, what does this mean for how we think about retirement age?

In days gone by, Australians retired when they reached age 50, 55 or even 60.

But as our population ages and we’re living longer and healthier lives than ever before, it’s time to take a fresh look at our ideas around retirement age.

At an age when people would traditionally think of retiring, you may have adult children or even teenagers still living at home. Even in your 50s and 60s, you could still have major financial commitments like servicing a mortgage, paying school fees or even supporting ageing parents.

You may be bouncing back from a relationship breakdown and not have enough assets or super to fund your retirement. Plus, you most likely have another 30 or 40 years of life left to enjoy!

To meet your financial commitments and save for the retirement you want, the obvious solution is to keep working beyond the Government’s retirement age.

Even if you don’t need to keep working, you might actually want to keep working. After all, work provides many important things in our lives like a sense of community, social outlet, mental stimulation, sense of purpose, structure and identity. Without these things, some people can feel quite lost.

It’s important to note that not everyone can or wants to keep working past the official retirement age — it’s up to the individual and their circumstances. But if you’re looking to keep working then here are some options to consider...

1. Stay the course

If you’re in a full-time job, you don't have to retire just because you’ve reached a certain age. You may have financial commitments that mean you need to maintain your income, or you may just want to keep working because you enjoy what you do.

By continuing to earn a full-time wage you can work towards your big financial goals like paying off your mortgage and any other debts, while also continuing to build your retirement nest egg.

2. Work part-time

In many ways, working part-time can give you the best of both worlds. You get the social and mental benefits of work while also having extra time to enjoy other activities.

In 2019, the Government changed the eligibility rules for the Age Pension so you may be able to earn some money without affecting your payment.

For details see Services Australia.

3. Try something new

Most people will have multiple careers during their lifetime, so why not take the opportunity to try something new? You can apply for jobs in different industries or look at roles where your experience and life skills will be valued. If you’re interested in running your own business, there are plenty of franchise opportunities you can consider.

Find your own path to retirement

It’s always good to know you have options, regardless of your circumstances. And even though there’s lots of noise about when you should retire, only you can decide what the right path to retirement will be for you.

Scheduled outage - We are making improvements to Member Online this weekend. It will be unavailable from 8:30pm Friday 1 December - 5pm Saturday 2 December. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.