For you this may depend on your financial circumstances, your health, your partner’s retirement plans. The age you choose to retire can impact your retirement savings and your eligibility for income support in retirement.
Don’t forget not everyone gets to choose when they retire.
I am thinking of Gabrielle, a University Librarian who was unexpectedly made redundant in a restructure. She is one of many in the University sector employees who have found themselves without a regular job and the accompanying pay packet. For Gabrielle it was a huge shock as she was in the process of renovating her house and relying on her income to meet regular payments. Gabrielle had to put the renovations on PAUSE and felt as if her whole life was on PAUSE.
Other than redundancy the most common factor influencing the time to retire is deteriorating health. As we near retirement age (65years) or even part time our body can begin to let us down. We may develop physical incapacities that prevent us from continuing to work full time. We may have to adapt to a new career, take full retirement or transition to semi-retirement. This is a transformation to the next stage of life. There are options.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018-19 financial year) reports retirees’ statistics and retirement plans of people aged 45 years and over. This report shows over 55% of people over 55 years were retired, an increase up 2% from 2016-17. The average retirement age of all retirees was 55.5 years. Looking ahead the Australian Government is exhorting workers to stay in work to an age closer to 70 years. The aim of these policies is to reduce the demand on income support services as an increasing number of Australians are reaching retirement age.
I often hear people who have transformed their lives by choosing BIG changes by taking early retirement say they knew it was time to make a change. The common phrase they use is, ‘The writing was on the wall.’ They knew, within themselves that to maintain or improve their levels of wellbeing and enthusiasm for their work, i.e., reduce stress and anxiety, change was inevitable. Decades of meeting other people’s needs, an ever-increasing workload, changing social expectations and the cumulative effect of dealing with clients, students and patients can leave us feeling worn out or worn down. It is definitely time to make a change.