Cheryl Turnbull left her careers in hairdressing and mortgage broking to take on a lighter workload as a swimming teacher. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Cheryl Turnbull left her careers in hairdressing and mortgage broking to take on a lighter workload as a swimming teacher. Picture: Glenn Hampson

Why you shouldn’t dive straight into retirement

THE jump from full-time work to full-time retirement can be a shock to the system so many Aussies will make a more gradual transition.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal about a third (37 per cent) intend to take up part-time work first to ease into the change.

Of these people, two-thirds plan to continue on with their current employer and one in five plan to change employer.

Almost half of those intending to change employer (45 per cent) plan to move into a different line of work, a quarter will be looking for contract work, and 21 per cent hope to work more hours from home.

Semi-retirement can allow people to pursue a line of work they have always wanted to try. Picture: iStock
Semi-retirement can allow people to pursue a line of work they have always wanted to try. Picture: iStock

 

Career Development Association of Australia national executive committee member Rebecca Fraser says easing the transition is more mentally effective than a sudden stop.

"There needs to be a consideration on how they will meet the mental or physical stimulation that they are used to," she says.

"Retirement should never be seen as a stage of stopping, rather it is a change to move to doing things that have a more personal and self-fulfilling element to them.

"Taking a slow transition and planning how you want to fulfil your personal goals while staying mentally and physically fit is extremely important."

Fraser says many people see retirement as an opportunity to finally do what they have always wanted to do.

"This might be going from office-based roles to the health or service sector, or others have chosen that they would like to mentor other individuals that are seeking careers in the sector they work in," she says.

"It is normally finally a chance for them to do what they would like rather than be driven by the pay cheque or career pathway they have taken."

Recruiter Rebecca Fraser says a slow transition is beneficial. Picture: Paul Loughnan
Recruiter Rebecca Fraser says a slow transition is beneficial. Picture: Paul Loughnan

The ABS research reveals of the 3.9 million people who intend to retire, 40 per cent do not know the age at which they will do so.

Of those who do know, most (50 per cent) plan to retire between age 65 and 69. Meanwhile at the extremes, 20 per cent intend to work until they are at least 70 and 7 per cent aim to bow out before their 60th birthday.

MORE: Eager Aussies flock to apprenticeships

MORE: Tips to make yourself more employable?

The main influence on a decision to retire is financial security, followed by health concerns, then reaching the eligible age for a pension.

In 2016-17, there were 177,500 people aged 45 years and older who had previously retired but were either in the labour force or planned to look for work in the future.

Women made up about 60 per cent of this group and their most common reasons for returning to work were financial need (42 per cent) or being bored and needing something to do (32 per cent).

JUMP! Swim Schools teacher Cheryl Turnbull with students Ava Kaukau and Maya Wilson. Picture: Glenn Hampson
JUMP! Swim Schools teacher Cheryl Turnbull with students Ava Kaukau and Maya Wilson. Picture: Glenn Hampson

BEFORE TAKING THE DIVE …

Cheryl Turnbull, 59, left her full-time career to work part time as a swimming teacher for JUMP! Swim Schools.

"I'd been a hairdresser since I was 15 and I owned salons until I was 40," she says.

"Then I did my full real estate license and set up a small business with my husband showing young women how to invest in property."

She decided to become a qualified swimming teacher after taking her grandchild to a class.

Turnbull says the decision to ease into retirement with part-time work was about looking after herself.

"You might have spent time looking after babies and grandchildren and putting husbands or wives first, but you still need the financial income for the holidays to the Greek Isles and Bali," she says.

"As you get older, you can get caught up in your own age group. At work, I am engaging with much younger people in their 30s and 40s and it's good to hear young people's mindsets, it keeps you stimulated.

"Physically, I'm also keeping myself active but not in the high capacity of more than 20 hours a week."



Behind the scenes: Carnies' secret lives might surprise you

premium_icon Behind the scenes: Carnies' secret lives might surprise you

It's not a job, but a lifestyle dedicated to making kids smile.

Pair to face trial over grisly attempted murder

premium_icon Pair to face trial over grisly attempted murder

A man was left badly burned on the side of a remote road

Family say 'unnecessary force' used in teen arrests

Family say 'unnecessary force' used in teen arrests

Operation went from “zero to 100”, according to one witness

Local Partners