Things to do if you’ve been made redundant in your 60s

Unfortunately a growing army of over 60s are facing the facts that redundancy is a very real and scary threat

Unfortunately a growing army of over 60s are facing the facts that redundancy is a very real and scary threat to their livelihoods. 

Redundancy can be one of the most traumatic life events you will ever experience and this ‘money trauma’ triggers a very real emotional response. Unfortunately many people’s first reaction can often be to panic and start making big money decisions. In most cases the best advice is to wait before making any significant financial decisions, especially if you have received a pay out. Think first and spend later!

It is first and foremost important to avoid denial about your money position. 

If you have been left not knowing where your next loan repayment is coming from, don’t stick your head in the sand. Talk to your bank or lender and explain the circumstances. A bank would much rather work with you to preserve your credit rating than let you default on your loans.

Be really careful about using your payout to reduce debt such as a home loan. Usually I would encourage people to pay down their debts but this is not the time – wait until you have a new job to even think about this.

Your superannuation fund will often have important life and sickness insurance included in it. Check to make sure the premiums will still be paid even though you are no longer working. Some companies will allow you to transfer your work insurance into a personal policy, but only if you do this within a few weeks of stopping working.

Many of us still feel too proud to go to Centrelink and ask for benefits but this is what it is there for – there are various options that can help you to financially tick along while you look for work.

Unfortunately without the right advice you face the risk of steering your ship in the complete wrong direction. Get good financial and tax advice, there are special tax rules for payments made for genuine redundancy and often companies deduct too much tax. 

Financial advisers are always banging on about creating a budget – well this truly is the time to do it! Cut your non-essential spending as much as humanely possible as returning to work quickly is no certainty. Budgets work but sticking to them is often the hardest part. 

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, pause and take a deep breath. It was your job that was made redundant, not you. I have seen many people use this time as an opportunity to re-assess what is really important and move onto greater achievements.


– Don’t panic. Think through the situation logically

– Don’t be in denial about your current financial situation

– Don’t use your payout to pay off debts

– Research your superannuation and insurance policies

– Don’t be afraid to ask for financial help

– Create a budget

Have you been made redundant in your 60s? What did you do?

Originally published here

  1. Been there, and with very little in kitty thanks to the GFC. Downscaled to a house I could pay cash for, cut off all unnecessary expenses and accepted work in areas that someone of my professional back ground should not have had to consider (I clean the local bank!). Life can still be very good if you focus on the positives and do not bemoan what might have been.

    • Well done, I was made redundant at 63 – 65 this year.. I’m off to Centrelink to see about work for the dole. I’m not done with yet and want to contribute.

    • Vera you can get centrelink payments if you volunteer for 15 hours a week. I’m not sure if this is the same as work for the dole.

    • They will put you on newstart. .yve worked and earned it…why should u do any more..get the pollies to do their bit an contribute

    • You contribute for social interaction and all that stuff.because YOU want to or that is what you like ..made redundant from Govt at 54 !bullshit excuses to get redundancy they can keep paying for it. .I am not ashamed..I worked very hard and long…stuff em

    • Vera, Newstart for those over 60 does not have a ‘work for the dole’ component, but most of us have already found some aspect of our community that requires our support – meals on wheels, local bargain centre, community garden – whatever strikes your fancy. I have discovered my work on various committees does not count but my work in the community garden does – go figure, as the committees are maintaining various community assets. 15 hours a week is all that is required of you as your job service provider (who will be assigned to you when you register with Centrelink) does not bother to hold interviews with you nor refer you to jobs. Those you have to find for yourself. You will get a form once a year to be completed by the person in charge of your voluntary activity (tricky if it is you!!) confirming you will be working for them for the next 12 months and the day after you lodge it you will receive a text message telling you you have an appointment (but not where!! which caused me to panic as it was the next day). The appointment is a phone interview and nothing at all stressful or humiliating. I have found Centrelink staff are very graceful under the circumstances they work in.

  2. I too was made redundant (actually, my job, not me personally!) last year and I expected to find a new position without much trouble, given my qualifications and experience. It wasn’t to be! Employers would rather appoint a 40 year old than someone who is 64! After depleting my savings, I had to rethink my future and fortunately for me, I found an on-line business opportunity with the potential to increase my income beyond anything I could earn working a job! Redundancy proved to be a blessing in disguise! Check out my web site

  3. Don’t wait until you have a financial crisis to create a budget. Do it now and use it religiously. A budget is probably the best financial tool available.

    • I agree Rob. I use the envelope system, but realise that is old hat – but who cares it works for me 🙂

    • Totally agree. We use Simply Budgets. It sure helped when I was made redundant in 2013. Just had to tweek it some without my wages. We are surviving 😊

  4. Suzanne  

    After being reassured my job was safe, I received the white envelope. Shell shocked is putting it mildly. Sat down and worked out how long my payout would last on a very strict budget. So now pay myself a meagre wage every fortnight and stick to it. Life is too short to be bitter and resentful, a new and exciting beginning awaits.

  5. I was made redundant mid last year and found it to be one of the most devastating things that could have happened to me at the time. Money became a problem but the worst thing was the depression and down hill slide of my feelings of self worth. Meanwhile a year on I still get upset over it but am trying to get on with my life and build up my opinion of my self. It will just take time.

    • You are both awesome never ever let life bring you down. stare it in the face and say if that’s all you have to throw at me I can overcome it. My gorgeous ex A***H*** bankrupted me just as I was ready to retire so I have had to adjust my sails from a hind wind to a head wind and it is all smooth sailing from here on in. Getting my camper in a few weeks and heading off into the sunset. Happy New Year Ladies.

    • Try to see redundancy as their loss, not yours, because this is the truth ladies. Good luck for the future. A friend of mine started a dog walking business. Just advertise locally and charge about $10 for one or two hours of walking the dog (depending on your financial status). It has been the making of my friend. She now babysits them too in her own home.

  6. If made redundant always seek advice that it was done under Fair Work law and you have been paid out appropriately. If over 45yrs you’re entitled to an additional weeks wages too.

  7. I’m interested to know why you wouldn’t pay off your home loan. If you leave your payout in the bank you may not get the dole due to having assets and it is easier to dip into it. Interesting read.

    • Centrelink request a termination statement from the employer and use your payout amount to determine how long before they will pay you any benefits. You are expected to live off the payout while you job search , not pay off debts.

    • Yes at our age its hard to get work and I didnt get benefits for 2 years. We did pay our house off with my money and some money my wife inherited. Sounds like it was the wrong thing too do but we dont think so. At least we know we will always have a roof over our head.

  8. redundancy is one of the most crippling, soul destroying work events that can happen. Been there twice and do not want to go there again as it took a long,long while to recover my self worth.

    • Been made redundant 3 times each time was because the company moved or was closing down. Each time I got a pay out ( the last one was good) and each moved to a job were i was able to learn more. At no time did I lose my job because i my ablities.

    • I certainly did not lose my job due to my abilities. Both due to restructure of dept.

  9. Made redundant at 60 (voluntered). Would have lost my job anywsy because I was in the automotive industry. Couldn’t get centerlink for 2 years because of redundancy money. However we have no dedt so decided to have some caravaning holidays. After about 3 years got a part time job which pays the basic bills. We have just dold our house and buying a unit to suit our new life style. What we have done doesn’t suit every one but it has been good for us.

  10. I was an office trained & I was retrenched many years ago & retrained as a cleaner. Pay may not be as good but believe it or not I quite enjoy the work. Also I am back in paid employment.

  11. Don’t know about redundancy as my husband worked until over 70 and he worked in the north of the state. Engineers work in many places, some uncomfortably hot. He appreciates being retired after the hard slog.

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