Semi-retirement – try before you buy

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 –

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  • 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?