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Leave work slowly

A few decades ago it was customary to work until age 65, then head home after the office farewell, ready for the start of a whole new life.

A few decades ago it was customary to work until age 65, then head home after the office farewell, ready for the start of a whole new life.

These days, our plans for retirement are more fluid.

Some of us are happy to remain in the workforce, others plan to retire much earlier than in the past, and some have no intention of retiring at all. Despite the plethora of approaches to retirement, one thing is clear. The days of the office farewell in our mid-60s are behind us.

There is no doubt that a gradual transition into part-time work and retirement can make a lot of sense. After several decades in the workforce, it’s a quantum leap to move from full-time employment to full-time retirement. And for many, the changeover isn’t always smooth sailing. 

Work doesn’t just provide an income stream - it offers a stable routine, valuable social and mental stimulation, and for many, a sense of identity. Relinquishing our place in the workforce can be the equivalent of losing a good friend, and a whole new sense of ‘self’ may need to be established – especially for men, who may never have experienced significant time out of the workforce.

This makes it essential to find new and meaningful activities, including hobbies, sports, part-time work or volunteering to fill the gap. Moving from work to retirement with a gradual wind down over a period of months or years can help to overcome many of the traditional issues associated with this new phase of life.

The good news is that there is a range of financial strategies to complement your transition.

As everyone’s financial situation is different, it’s not possible to provide detailed advice here, apart from saying that the government has introduced a transition to retirement scheme which makes it easier to make the change over a longer period. A financial planner can explain your options.

 


'This article originally appeared on the My Life Change website and has been reproduced with permission from Paul McKeon of Baby Boomers Life Change Pty Ltd'

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