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 really 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.
The Government recently changed the eligibility rules for the Age Pension so you can now earn some money without affecting your payment.
If you’re eligible for the Government’s Work Bonus scheme, you can earn up to $6,500 each year before your pension payments are reduced. That’s a great incentive to get out there and earn some
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.
You might also consider earning some money through the sharing economy — check out our article 'The Sharing Economy' for ideas on getting started.
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.