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New year, new start – are you ready for retirement?

If 2016 is the year you were thinking about retiring, Renata Singer – a writer, community activist and educator ....

.... who recently released a book called Older and Bolder, Life after 60, actively encourages women in particular, to not give up work too soon. “If you’re feeling the pressure to retire, stay doing what you love and are good at for another ten years,” she insists. 

 

If you are nearing the usual retirement age yourself, perhaps you too have felt the pressure to retire. If your spouse has already retired, they may be keen for you to give up work too so you can travel or do all those things you had planned to do ‘one day’. Your grown up children may hint how great it would be if you could help out with the childcare of their young ones. Retired friends might constantly tell you about their stress free life and how they have never been busier. 

Weighing up your options 

And while all of these things can bring benefits, it’s worth spending the time to really weigh up the pros and cons to retiring to ensure it’s the right time for you. 

Have you carefully considered the following:

  • What do you plan to do in retirement? Volunteer, travel, join clubs, indulge your hobbies etc?
  • Do you have a good support network to help you through the transition? Family, friends, people with the same interests as you?
  • If childcare is on the horizon, what will you do to make sure you have a balance of time for yourself and time to help your family?
  • Are you confident you have enough money to see you comfortably through retirement, bearing in mind retirees at age 65 can now expect to live another 20yrs or more?

What the studies show

A recent report from the Older Workers Study by CBA (i) revealed that 11.5 million Australians in the workforce are aged between 50yrs and 74yrs. 72% of those interviewed said they were keen to carry on working regardless of their financial situation, which suggests that personal fulfilment is highly valued. 

Businesses are also recognising the wealth of knowledge older workers bring to the table. Years of experience means they are uniquely placed to mentor teams of younger staff, especially through periods of change such as economic downturns. 

36% believed that flexible working would encourage them to retire later, and with many large corporations making that option part of their employee offering, it’s likely to be something that will be more readily available in the future world of work. 

Carrying on in the work force past retirement age is not for everyone. Every situation is unique and you may feel relieved at the thought of not having to punch the clock anymore. Health or family reasons could mean it’s time for you to seriously consider winding down. Or perhaps you have dreams you want to pursue. 

Whatever decision you make, ensure you are on track to be financially secure in retirement – however and whenever, that happens. 

 

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(i) https://www.commbank.com.au/content/dam/commbank/articles/retirement/ FSC_CBA_Older_Workers_Study.pdf