Why Aussies like Carol are putting off retirement

One in five Aussies are planning to delay their retirement, new research has found.

·3-min read
Carol Adler at work. Retirement plans.
Aussies like Carol Adler are putting off their retirement. (Source: Randstad)

Office coordinator Carol Adler has been working for most of her life and doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon.

The 71-year-old currently works two days a week in a government position and has been doing temp work for the past eight years after she took a redundancy.

“Like most people, I envisaged working until 65-ish, which is the general retirement age. I didn’t expect to still be working now to be honest,” Carol told Yahoo Finance.

While money is a consideration for Carol, she thinks she’ll still be able to manage comfortably when she does eventually retire but may need to tighten her belt and reconsider any splurges.

“I’m working because I still want to keep active, I still want to keep up with technology, I enjoy working with my colleagues and working in a supportive role where I don't have as much responsibility as I did [previously] as a full-time executive assistant,” she said.

Carol said working two days a week suited her at the moment and gave her the flexibility to take care of her grandkids, catch up with friends and stay active.

“If I'm offered work and it’s flexible and suits me like it does now, I’ll keep going as long as I can.”

Aussies delaying retirement

New research by Randstad found three-quarters of Aussie workers didn’t think they would be able to retire as early as they wanted, due to their current financial situation.

One in five are planning to delay their retirement, with one in 10 thinking retirement won’t be possible until they are 75 or older.

Randstad NSW director Jo Jakobs said money was a major reason people were putting off retirement, but there were also often personal reasons at play.

“A lot of that is to do with their identity at work. If you retire, you move into a completely different space in your life, and I think that can be quite confronting,” Jakobs told Yahoo Finance.

“There is a whole swath of people who are looking for mental stimulation, connection and community and things that aren’t necessarily financially related that means they will work well beyond 70.”

As well as Aussies delaying retirement, Randstad has also seen a pattern of people ‘unretiring’.

“[That is when] people who do retire but then realise 12 to 18 months into their retirement that they want to come back into the workforce, whether that is part-time or on a casual basis,” Jakobs explained.

“That could be to do with money but it’s also often to do with interest and not having enough to do to fill the days.”

Older workers overlooked

Jakobs thinks employers often overlook older Aussies as a talent pool, despite them offering a wealth of skills and experience and often staying longer in their roles.

“The average tenure for someone in a job is about 3.5 years but older workers will tend to stay in the same job for just under seven years,” Jakobs said.

“According to the data, [employers] will get double the return if they were to look at older workers. There’s lots of upsides to employing and focusing on older-aged workers without necessarily dismissing them.”

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