Are you considering retiring?

Preparing for life when you stop working is about more than just the dollars and cents however retirement planning is often centred on one question – ‘will you have enough money?’

Australians are living longer than ever before and enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, with men expected to live to 80.06 years and women to 84.31 years.1 What’s more, Australian life expectancies are increasing all the time, which means you’ll likely have plenty of time to enjoy your retirement. Retirement planning means thinking about how you’ll make the most of the freedom and opportunities coming your way – and what your day-to-day life will be like.

Questions to ask when you are considering retiring.


Have you considered cutting back on work?

If you’re not quite ready to stop working, cutting back your hours or finding a part-time job can help you ease into retirement at your own pace.

You may be able to take advantage of a transition to retirement strategy that lets you reduce your working hours and draw a pension from your super to supplement your income. This way, you could have more time to do the things you want outside of work without compromising your lifestyle.


What will you do with your time?

You might have a picture in mind of what your retirement will be like. Planning how you’ll spend your time on a day-to-day basis can help this picture become clearer and quickly turn it into a reality when you stop working.


You could:

  • Try volunteering

If you’re looking for ways to make your retirement more meaningful and fulfilling, volunteering could be the answer. It can also be a great way to put your past job skills to good use. What’s more, research shows that those who volunteer are healthier, more alert and socially connected. 2

Volunteering doesn’t have to be hard work or take up a lot of time. Organisations such as Volunteering Australia, the Centre for Volunteering and Seek Volunteer have information about the sorts of volunteering you could get involved in and how to find opportunities in your area. Your local council may also offer information about organisations that give you the chance to get involved.

  • Return to study

Whether you want to learn the ins and outs of running a small business or take that photography course you never had time for, looking for opportunities to upskill or learn more can be personally rewarding and have practical benefits.

  • Turn your interests into hobbies

Retirement is a time to discover and indulge new hobbies and passions. Signing up for classes and social groups can be a great way to make that happen.


Do you have a good social circle?

If most of your social life is through work, it’s a good idea to look for ways to expand your social circle. Joining community groups, taking classes or reconnecting with old friends you’ve lost touch with can help.

1 Australian Government Actuary, Release of Australian Life Tables 2010-12, December 2014.

2 Research findings from the University of Adelaide published in Louise Rogers and Joy Noble’s Positive Ageing: Think Volunteering, 2013.