‘The SKI Club: Having the time of our lives in retirement’

Apr 18, 2021
Today's 60-somethings are living much more active lifestyles. Source: Getty Images

As the Baby Boomers are at retirement age, a certain proportion are considering joining the ‘SKI’ club. This acronym stands for ‘Spend the Kids’ Inheritance’. For some Baby Boomers of retirement age, there can be a choice. If retirees own property, they may sell to downsize. They can live in a micro-neighbourhood, or a retirement village, with lifestyle options.

Some retirees may wish to spend their kids’ inheritance on renovations. If Baby Boomers want a new kitchen, nothing wrong with that. Other retirees want to be grey nomads. Some are still taking grey ‘gap years’. They lease or sell their properties, and take off to see Australia in a campervan or a big rig, a four-wheel drive and caravan, the bigger the better.

Such Boomers might not feel ready to be the free babysitters for their grandchildren. Retirees can see their peers looking after grandkids, to save the high cost of childminding.

If it wasn’t a pandemic world, many grey nomads would purchase cruises or trips overseas. But we are all in the same boat with the coronavirus (did you get that pun?!)

Boomers who wish to free up cash can take reverse mortgages on their homes. This can be considered joining the ‘SKI Club’. Baby Boomers at retirement age wish to have freedom of choice, a bit of spending money to last their days of older age, and good health.

But Baby Boomers do not know how long they are going to live, and no one can buy good health. Many live quite frugally, hoping their funds survive them, and that their adult children can inherit the value of the parental property, once they have passed away.

But, realistically, very few retirement households are wealthy enough to leave their families vast funds as inheritances. A lot of Baby Boomers approaching retirement age have skimped to provide for their children to give them opportunities, or have supported them with free accommodation. Some have provided their adult children with home deposits, due to the high cost of housing in cities in Australia. Many feel they have done their bit, so it may be time to join the ‘SKI Club’.

Even if we do not own property, most Baby Boomers have worked hard from a reasonably early age, taught their offspring a good work ethic, and can leave behind happy family memories. Take care, but still have fun if we decide to join the ‘SKI Club’.

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Will you spend your kids' inheritance or will you pass it on?

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