New study highlights the changing nature of retirement

May 15, 2022
The Australian Seniors Quality of Life Report 2022 surveyed more than 5,000 Australians over the age of 50 to gain insight into what issues are most important to seniors. Source: Getty Images.

New research from Australian Seniors has provided fresh insight into the shifting nature of retirement and the priorities that are taking centre stage as Australians enter their golden years.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic proving to be a major influence in how over 50s approach their retirement, the Australian Seniors Quality of Life Report 2022 surveyed more than 5,000 Australians over the age of 50 to gain insight into what issues are most important to seniors as well as their priorities. 

The study’s findings suggest that good physical health (87%), being financially comfortable (85%), good mental health (82%), and living independently for as long as possible (79%) are the key factors to a good quality of life in retirement. 

Deputy Director of the Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing at Macquarie University, Dr. Carly Johnco said “the pandemic in many ways has forced everyone to become more aware of their mortality, with many people taking stock of their life circumstances and reprioritising the things that matter to them”. 

“Older adults have been resilient in their emotional response to the pandemic often because they tend to prioritise close relationships, meaning and emotional contentment,” she said.

Financial stability and mental wellbeing have also come to the fore, with costs (58%), maintaining a sense of purpose (43%), and finding meaningful ways to spend time (42%) becoming major considerations for seniors.

A recent survey conducted by National Seniors Australia of 4000 older Australians supports claims that seniors are seeking a sense of purpose and a meaningful way to spend their time revealing that 20 per cent of pensioners would consider re-entering paid work after retirement.

National Seniors’ CEO and Director of Research, Professor John McCallum, said encouraging older Australians to re-enter the workforce would “provide a big shot in the arm for the Australian economy”.

“Many seniors are struggling to make ends meet on the pension but the pension rules are a strong disincentive to do paid work. This traps pensioners at low quality of life including too many in poverty,” he said.

National Seniors Australia have proposed changes to the age pension and urged the Federal Government to exempt employment income from the Age Pension means test to let pensioners work.

Under current legislation, Australians receiving the age pension are only able to work a certain amount before their payments are reduced.

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