If you were born in 1950, for example, your average life expectancy is 87 years old (if female) and 84 years old (if male)1. Looking more into the future, it is predicted that by 2055 people will be living almost ten years longer than this still2.
So the simple approach to life of studying, working and retiring at 65 no longer seems to fit our needs.
Retirement can now be whatever you want it to be—you may change careers, further your education or take a phased approach so you can balance work with family or other interests.
What matters most in retirement?
The picture of retirement may have changed, but the things that matter haven’t. Like many Australians, you’ll probably have three goals top of mind:
- Financial stability.
How to create the retirement you want
Here are some things to think about when inventing your retirement.
1. Know your workplace options
With a shrinking workforce3, employers are realising the value of their experienced workers. This is great news if you’re looking to balance some work with some time off. Many workplaces are responding with new ways of working, which can include:
- Offering flexible work arrangements, such as working part time or from home, or job sharing
- Reallocating tasks that are too physically demanding or unsuitable for older employees to do
- Creating mentoring and training initiatives, so older workers can pass on their knowledge to younger generations.
A great example of this is at BMW, where catering for their older workers has seen an increase in the productivity on its assembly lines. Small changes included introducing magnifying glasses, stretching areas, softer floor panels and providing special shoes to ease sore legs.
2. Consider new ventures
Over 50s comprise the fastest growing segment of the start-up community, according to CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal4.
So if you’re over 50 and wanting to follow through on your dream of being an entrepreneur, working as a consultant or studying again, now could be the time to jump in and do it.
3. Think ahead for independent living
Almost 1 in 4 Australians between 55 and 64 years of age moved house in the last five years5. At some stage you’ll probably want to downsize too! When choosing your next home, it’s important to think about your future needs. You may want to consider:
- Access to public transport
- Proximity to supermarkets, cafes and doctors
- Friendliness of the physical environment—such as the addition of park benches and well-lit streets.
Our education module Selling the family home will come in handy when you’re working through all that’s involved in downsizing.
4. Plan for your financial future
When you started working, it’s likely you didn’t know that the legislation governing retirement would keep shifting. With so much change, it’s vital to plan ahead.
It’s never too early to consider the things that are important to you. There are a great number of possibilities, so explore different options. And if you’re stuck for inspiration check out SeniorPreneurs Foundation and OverSixty.
And no matter what you’re planning for your retirement, we can help—call us on 131 267 and if you don’t have one already, we can help you find a financial adviser.
1 Compiled from Australian Life Tables 2010-2012, Australian Government Actuary, 10 December 2014, superguide.com.au/how-super-works/latest-data-find-out-how-long-you-can-expect-to-live.
5 ABS Census 2011; AHURI ‘Downsizing Amongst Older Australians
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