For some people retirement can seem a long way off as they struggle to build up their super or set enough aside in savings to afford the lifestyle they desire, but new figures have revealed that one third of over-50s can’t see the finish line at all when it comes to employment.
Commissioned by the Council on the Ageing (COTA), the State of the (Older) Nation 2018 Report was launched in Canberra on Wednesday, providing an in-depth look at the attitudes of older Aussies across all key areas of life including employment, finance and health.
Compiled from a survey of more than 2,500 older Australians, the annual report revealed that 29 per cent of older Australians who are still in paid employment do not think they will ever retire, as well as the fact that the majority are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living.
According to the figures 38 per cent of older Aussies – defined as those over the age of 50 – are still in paid employment. However, when considering those over 65, the number reduces to just 15 per cent, with 3 per cent holding down full-time jobs, 8 per cent working part time and 5 per cent self employed.
Not surprisingly the study also found that of those who said they did not expect to retire, this attitude became far more likely among those who have little to no superannuation, with 42 per cent of those without super sharing this view compared to 26 per cent of those who do have super.
It also revealed that the age that someone would expect to retire is directly related to a person’s household income with those in the lowest income bracket (up to $29,999 per year) expecting to retire at 70, five years later than those with salaries of $100,000 upwards.
Those earning between $30,000 to $59,999 expect to retire at the age of 68, while those with a salary of $60,000 to $99,999 reckon they’ll be able to give up work when they reach 67.
The majority of older Australians feel a decade younger than their current age, however nearly half feel less valued by society than when they were younger. These are some of the key insights captured in our landmark State of the Older Nation 2018 Report launched today. pic.twitter.com/8m3MVV8uRp
— COTA Australia (@COTAAustralia) December 4, 2018
The report also highlighted the fact that, of those still in paid employment, almost one third (28 per cent) want more work, with those most keen to take on more hours also listing their financial situation as poor, either due to an income of $30,000 or less, having children at home or living with a disability.
One respondent said: “I can’t afford to retire as my super wouldn’t cover the years I could survive and live.”
And while 38 per cent of over-50s are still doing paid work, more than half (56 per cent) complete weekly unpaid work, which includes volunteering and caring for family members such as grandchildren, partners and parents.
The research was commissioned by the Federation of nine Councils on the Ageing (COTA) and conduced by Newgate Research, which carried out a nationally representative online survey of more than 2,500 Australians aged 50 and over.
The survey was conducted between 20th August and 14th September 2018 and took 25 minutes to complete.
COTA CEO Ian Yates said: “This inaugural State of the (Older) Report quantifies the key issues for older Australians in relation to employment, age discrimination, cost of living, financial security, health, home and aged care, housing, later life planning, consumer rights and transport.
“It tells us most older Australians believe they have a good quality of life. However, we’re very concerned about the number of older Australians who are telling us they’re not coping with the rising cost of living – many of whom are renting and facing challenges to pay bills.”
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