The motivation to keep working
Less than half of Australians retire simply because they have reached the age where they can access their super4.
We’re living longer, healthier lives so the prospect of being retired for thirty years or more can be a good motivation to keep working at least some of the time. The government is also contributing to the trend by steadily pushing out the age at which you can access the Age Pension.
Since COVID, changing employment patterns now allow for more part-time and remote work opportunities, giving pre-retirees more options to boost their finances for their future in full retirement. Between 2019 and 2022, one-third of new jobs went to people over 55.5
The benefits of semi-retirement
There are lots of reasons to stay in the workforce, including giving a purpose to your day, a social outlet and, of course, an income.
But while finances are important, people often choose semi-retirement because priorities change as you get older: you may want to spend more time with family, support a cause by volunteering, or follow a passion. Or maybe your career has a physical component that is more challenging for you as you age, but you still have lots of skills and experience to contribute.
Consider an 'encore career'
An ‘encore career’ is where people close to retirement choose to work in a new area, often in less demanding roles. These second careers offer a way to stay active and connected, and many use it to contribute to something meaningful to them. In 2018-19 almost 200,000 Australians went back to work, either for financial reasons or simply for something to do,6 and those figures are before COVID created more opportunities for older workers.
For example, a teacher might find work as a casual tutor in a community centre, or a police officer could become a security consultant for local businesses. Some people take the opportunity to try something completely different from their previous career. In 2021 there were around 50,000 Australians aged over 50 studying for a tertiary degree7.
How to make semi-retirement work for you
If you like the idea of semi-retirement but feel unsure about what do next, an Aware Super planner can review your circumstances, talk you through each option, and help you make more informed decisions.