Your third career: What to do when you get bored of retirement

If it ever really existed, the paradigm that you retire at 65 after a long career and simply enjoyed a

If it ever really existed, the paradigm that you retire at 65 after a long career and simply enjoyed a relaxed life of leisure until you die has itself died. Frankly no one simply retires anymore. The sooner we plan for what life really can be, rather than some antiquated notion of what is once the better we will be. Rarely have people thought of ageing as a time of opportunity, but with people living longer and in better health, seniors are quite rightly determined to give back to their community and be self-­reliant.

Did you know that the fastest growing rate of entrepreneurship in Australia is found in the 55 – 64 age group? Increasingly, people are retiring to start their own business…And why not? They have the skills and maturity, and often access to capital that younger people do not.

First some background. The concept of formal retirement first came into being in Australia in 1908, when the Aged Pension was introduced. At that time life expectancy was around mid-­50s (that was for period born in 1908). So the pension was virtually an award for having made it through what must have been a tough life of difficult work. Basically before the pension you worked until your body gave up on you. Hence the concept of one enjoying a last ‘Indian Summer’ of life with no financial or vocational problems came to be an aspiration for several generations. But things change and the most significant of these has been our life expectancy and our health.

Our life expectancy today is on average late 80s and we are living better quality of lives thanks to advances in medicine. As a result a funny thing happened: people got bored when they retire. As someone who has advised thousands of ‘retirees’ over 30 years I can attest that most people can only be on full-­time holidays for only so long before they either go crazy or get involved in a cause beyond themselves! What usually happens is that after a nice long holiday the word gets out that you’re back and perhaps interested in helping out on a project or two. Then the phone starts ringing from people you know that could really use an experienced hand in their own business or someone from the office that wants to engage you as a consultant. Before you know it you have 2 or 3 days a week or work and could be as busy as ever…if you want to.

Take Bruce for example. After a career as a mining geologist he retired and he and his wife had several great caravan trips. He still does go away a couple of times a year, but he fits it in between working for a charity that sends second hand reconditioned bikes to Africa and being a board member of several mining companies. Oh, and he has just been elected President of the local Rotary Club. So much for a quiet retirement! From what my clients like Bruce tell me though, there’s another important difference – there is no pressure involved in this ‘third career’. Sure, you want to do a good job and not let people down but because you are choosing them, you can walk away whenever you want or decide not to renew your consultancy or stay on after the project is finished.


Tell us, have you gotten busier after retirement? Do you feel bored at all or is your life fulfilling?

  1. Well, we just retired last year, and after a year of serious health problems for hubby whilst also having the home fully renovated, I haven’t had time to think about what we will do. I will let you know when the dust settles, lol. But we both intend to enjoy ourselves, hobbies, travel and voluntary work. Bring it on…

  2. Retirement is a state of mind! Stay healthy & active. Learn new things, help & give to others, keep yourself young & alive, mix with positive people & of course have fun.

  3. Never been bored in my 20yrs of retirement, I enjoyed every day, 72 yrs old now & still have good health. Just very lucky .

  4. Retirement is what each individual makes of it.
    Some people need to recognise it is rude to correct others!

    • If nobody corrects anyone, our language is in danger of deteriorating into an absolute frustrating mess! I stand up for what I believe in, or to be absolutely correct – I stand up for that in which I believe. 🙂

    • Your entitled to your beliefs however their are many older Australians who did not get a good education and it is not for the likes of you to correct them!

    • This post is funny. It is talking about grammar but uses spelling mistakes instead. 😂😂😂

    • Mary Dane you are a rude woman, how dare you be try to attempt to correct any adult especially and adult over 60, mind your own business you offend people

    • what a day to be worried about how people spell, wake up Mary Dane people are dying in Paris and they won’t be spelling at all ever again

    • Rosalind Battles -I probably laugh more than a lot of other people, and I did not even mention spelling mistakes – it was one comment about the expression “bored of” which has crept into the language. I am permitted to find that annoying, and I commented as such. I did not attack anyone in that comment – I just made an observation and then quoted from the Oxford Dictionary site, and suddenly some people start taking offence. Sad really – one little observation seems to have stirred up some very defensive people. I haven’t called anyone any names (unlike some others on here – Rosalind Battles), and I haven’t been rude (unlike some others). Forgive me for making an observation As for how I dare correct any adult over 60 – (Libbi Elliott) – how old do you think I am? I am 65, so how dare you correct me? This is just craziness. So many sensible people on this page, who obviously enjoy their life in retirement and yet so many others just looking for a fight. I am now bored WITH this discussion, and so won’t bother to read any more petty little barbs. I have plenty of other interesting things to do to occupy my time.

  5. Dianne Evans  

    Have not had one moments boredom nor has my Husband ! Time is still short days go fast weeks go fast. We both would like more time !

  6. I wish people would stop saying “bored of”! Try bored with, or bored by. I know English is evolving, but why this being bored OF something has to sneak into our language because people don’t know any better is just so annoying. “The Oxford website says the popularity of “bored of” represents “a perfectly logical development of the language, and was probably formed on the pattern of expressions such as tired of or weary of.”

    “Nevertheless, some people dislike it and it’s not fully accepted in standard English. It’s best to avoid using it in formal writing,” Oxford adds.” I will never give in! 🙁

    • Why the need to correct grammar or spelling mistakes? Does it make you feel superior to others. I find this far more annoying.

    • Totally agree Lee, some people seem to have nothing better in life to do than correct others, I always have a laugh to myself at them😂

    • I agree with Mary Dane. Those who were taught that grammar is important find these mistakes annoying. That won’t change, but why do some people want to laugh at people who are stating facts, Lynn Bradford?

    • Pedantic !pedantic !pedantic !👎 how sad 😢 just go with the flow and enjoy the moment with our new friends at 60 .. It’s Sunday, have a break n be happy 😃

    • I agree wholeheartedly with Mary. We spent so long being taught to speak correctly that it jars when the language is incorrect. 😁

    • I love the English language, and it just makes me sad to see it declining. It doesn’t mean I feel superior – it just makes me sad, and annoyed because it shows that our education system is allowing these unnecessary changes to become the norm. 🙂

    • It is this simple with me ladies, I don’t have a spell checker for some reason it does not work, I have large finger and small key and sometimes and I make typo’s and other time I just spell it incorrectly, been a long time since I was at school, make it a practise of correcting me and I block you, I don’t need grandma nipping at my heels correcting my grammar 🙂

    • I’ve haven’t laughed so much in a while reading your posts. I believe I make the most mistakes of anyone on this site. I have notice over the last couple of years my spelling and grammar is getting worse. It may be because of a couple of things, the side effects of my heart medication or Alzheimers, my sister suffers severely from. So maybe we should consider other problems as well. A dear of mine friend refuses to contribute to FB because of her spelling mistakes, so remains isolated because she’s ashamed.

    • listen to what Jacqueline is saying rather than correcting her, who knows even you may learn 🙂

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about spelling mistakes, as they happen so easily with the tiny little keys on our phones etc. Sometimes I send completely crazy messages from my iPhone if I don’t carefully check them. They give my kids 😜something to laugh about.

    • Well said Christins,there are so many people out there that have either learning difficulties or other problems out of their control that can affect their grammar & spelling, it’s just rude that other people feel the need to constantly correct others & we see it on here so much at times.

    • Get a life Mary Dane people have died in Paris and many more on the brink of death and you in here worrying about people’s spelling !! On a scale of one to ten with all problems in the World that does even reach minus a trillion

    • Wow! A person makes a general comment on the demise of the English language and is suddenly being attacked! I have been very distressed about the terrorism in Paris, as have been millions of others. Does this somehow mean I am not permitted to think about anything else today? Sorry to have made you so upset by my observations. Take some deep breaths and relax. This is getting rather silly! 🤐

    • I don’t like bad grammar either,but the only people I would ever think of correcting would be my kids or grandkids. But that’s my job,and I know you should never start a sentence with but, but I love doing it.

    • Susan Jayet It has changed now – it IS acceptable to start a sentence with ‘but’. Perhaps Mary should use her command of the english language to volunteer teaching others.

  7. I love every minute of retirement , I am busy, active and engaged when I want to be and have quiet time when I need it.

  8. There is no need to be bored in retirement. Motivation is the thing. There are so many things we can do, and volunteering is very rewarding, as it keeps us in touch with society and helps us make new friends. It also makes us see how fortunate we are.

  9. Well i go fishing walking go to the gym do housework for my wife potter about its all work haha

  10. Bored? we are baby boomers who grew up playing happily with VERY little to keep us occupied. We had imagination enough to keep ourselves busy when we were young, we can do it again.

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