Australia currently has the youngest retirement age in the world, at an average of 54 and a half years. If that sounds incredibly young to you, you’re not alone. In fact, many youthful “retirees” are choosing to delay this chapter in life, in favour of working a little longer. Even those who have moved to Australia to spend their golden years on golden beaches, may be looking for work to keep them both financially and socially active. If you’re not quite ready for the charms of retirement, here are some considerations for re-starting working life as a senior.
Surviving and thriving
Many Australian seniors are choosing to maintain some form of paid employment purely for their mental health and wellbeing; a recent survey found that 32% of respondents cited boredom as their reason for working beyond retirement age. Staying active in the workforce can also help with maintaining physical strength and stamina, and of course, it’s an excellent way to supplement a pension with extra income. Many senior workers also enjoy the satisfaction of passing on their working knowledge to trainees and new joiners in the industry.
Service with a smile
The service industry comprises over 70% of Australia’s GDP and offers many opportunities to seniors. Employment in this sector can play to the strengths of those who may not be able to take on a physically demanding role but can bring their experience to bear; not just as professionals but as those who have experienced both good and bad service over the years. Working with colleagues and customers is mentally stimulating and offers the problem solving and social interaction which many seniors seek. With loneliness becoming a global epidemic, these everyday interactions can be crucial for people to feel connected and appreciated.
Tourism is, of course, another key industry for Australia, with over 7 million visitors arriving in a year. With millennials pursuing new and unique experiences, and solo travel as a key trend for 2019, Australia’s geography, culture and people have so much to offer. Even the most adventurous travellers can find it daunting being far from home, so an experienced and approachable guide can soon carve a reputation for reliability and reassurance. Whether it’s sharing a love of fine wine, art or hiking, finding the best Instagram friendly spots, or running cookery lessons, an entrepreneurial senior can soon find ways to mix business and pleasure.
Working smarter, not harder
The Fair Work Act allows flexibility for those over 55 to work from home, making a home office an ideal option for those with limited mobility or who simply prefer their own company. Smart tech enables working from home to be a smooth and efficient process. Whether it’s book-keeping, interior design or project consultancy, work is increasingly a more flexible business.
For the many seniors who have decided to put off full retirement a while longer, Australia offers incredible opportunities. Here, you can share the benefit of your experience and hard-won wisdom with customers, colleagues, young people who are new to the industry and tourists looking for a friendly face. Even better, working flexibly offers a little taste of retirement’s freedom, with all the perks of work.