Semi-retirement – try before you buy 10



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For those people who love their job, retirement is often something to be feared and resisted. Here’s how Fred approached this challenge…

Fred owned his own business and had a staff of 10 people. He loved his job and when his wife talked about the idea of retirement, Fred saw all the negatives like: “End of my productive life / I’ll be bored / I’ve been too busy to build my social network” and the idea was shelved again.

Last year Fred had a heart attack and his doctor told him to slow down and avoid stress; major changes had to be made. Fred had built a good team who could run the day to day business so he decided to let them do just that. He organised himself so that he worked 3 days a week and focused on strategy and servicing major customers. He also worked at developing a social life outside of work. In time he plans to be working one day a week and doing a few overseas trips. The transition will take 2 – 3 years and give him plenty of time to ease into a new retirement lifestyle.

If you’re over 60, but not ready for full time retirement and can still do your job effectively, why not try being semi-retired? Your employer still has the benefit of a competent employee and you can mentor and train younger workers to take over from you. If you don’t like your current job and you don’t own the business, why not look at working a couple of days a week in something different that really interests you?

If one or more of the following descriptions describe you and you’re approaching retirement age, you might find that semi-retirement is an option worth considering –

  • You love your job
  • You enjoy the creative challenges that your job provides
  • You don’t have lots of friends or interests outside of work
  • The majority of your social life is involved with your work and industry friends
  • You think you’ll be bored in retirement
  • You’re worried that retirement will be the end of your productive life.

If you try semi-retirement for a couple of years, you give yourself time to adapt to a life after your career. You also continue to generate an income during these years and that will help stretch you retirement savings.

If cash flow could be a problem, your super fund would probably have a “Transition to Retirement” package which would give you access to some of your super while you are working part time on a reduced salary.


Do you still work? Have you considered semi-retirement? What do you enjoy about working in your 60s?

Paul McKeon

Paul McKeon is the founder of the website and the publisher of 3 books about lifestyle issues affecting people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The books are titled – “The Rest of Your Life”, “Relationships in our 50s – 60s and beyond” and “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement”. All the books can be purchased on his web site. He had a career in marketing, tourism, sports promotion and publishing in Australia, the UK and S.E. Asia. His books and website stress that a successful retirement is about more than good money management and people need to consider the important lifestyle issues if they are going to find lasting happiness.

  1. I am slowly cutting down my working hours in preparation for retirement. I currently work a 9 day fortnight and next year plan to cut down to a 4 day week and when I can afford it will cut down to job share before retiring completely.

  2. I’m 66 next month. Have just changed my job to permanent part time. 3X9.5 days per week. 57hr fortnight. Will do this for a few more years I think. Like my job but travel about 50k each way makes it about 13 hr day so am enjoying only doing 3 days a week.

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  3. My hubby would love to retire completely, today if it was possible. He couldn’t tick anything on that list, has many friends away from work, golf tragic, can’t get enough of it and has to take pain medication just to get through his daily shifts. I hate seeing him work so hard at this age. It’s a shame on society after we spend so many decades propping up everyone else, including those who refuse to work right from leaving school.

  4. I semi retired last October, just work casually now when needed with the option of saying no if I have other plans. Seems to be working well.

  5. Retrenched at 57 so took a year off before getting back into the workforce. Cut back to 4 days after a year but then retrenched again at 61. We then decided a sea change was in order and left the rat race of Sydney for Adelaide. Absolutely loving the lifestyle but would like to work 2-3 days a week but very little opportunities in Adelaide at my age.

  6. I took my long service leave to try out full retirement. It didn’t suit me. I negotiated with my employer of the last almost 30 years, to take some of the components of my job away and give them to others, leaving me with the core position that I now do three days a week. I LOVE IT! It’s like having a hobby and being paid for it. I qualify for a part age pension and many of the benefits but still have the enjoyment of a part time job. I’m 72 and I keep my fingers crossed it will go on for another few years!

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