What to do if you’ve been made redundant in your 60s 35



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Unfortunately a growing army of over 60s are facing the facts that redundancy is a very real and scary threat to their livelihoods.

Redundancy can be one of the most traumatic life events you will ever experience and this ‘money trauma’ triggers a very real emotional response. Unfortunately many people’s first reaction can often be to panic and start making big money decisions. In most cases the best advice is to wait before making any significant financial decisions, especially if you have received a pay out. Think first and spend later!

It is first and foremost important to avoid denial about your money position.

If you have been left not knowing where your next loan repayment is coming from, don’t stick your head in the sand. Talk to your bank or lender and explain the circumstances. A bank would much rather work with you to preserve your credit rating than let you default on your loans.

Be really careful about using your payout to reduce debt such as a home loan. Usually I would encourage people to pay down their debts but this is not the time – wait until you have a new job to even think about this.

Your superannuation fund will often have important life and sickness insurance included in it. Check to make sure the premiums will still be paid even though you are no longer working. Some companies will allow you to transfer your work insurance into a personal policy, but only if you do this within a few weeks of stopping working.

Many of us still feel too proud to go to Centrelink and ask for benefits but this is what it is there for – there are various options that can help you to financially tick along while you look for work.

Unfortunately without the right advice you face the risk of steering your ship in the complete wrong direction. Get good financial and tax advice, there are special tax rules for payments made for genuine redundancy and often companies deduct too much tax.

Financial advisers are always banging on about creating a budget – well this truly is the time to do it! Cut your non-essential spending as much as humanely possible as returning to work quickly is no certainty. Budgets work but sticking to them is often the hardest part.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, pause and take a deep breath. It was your job that was made redundant, not you. I have seen many people use this time as an opportunity to re-assess what is really important and move onto greater achievements.


– Don’t panic. Think through the situation logically

– Don’t be in denial about your current financial situation

– Don’t use your payout to pay off debts

– Research your superannuation and insurance policies

– Don’t be afraid to ask for financial help

– Create a budget

Have you been made redundant in your 60s? What did you do?

Patrick Canion

Patrick Canion’s passion for financial planning reflects his strong views that all people are created equal and everyone is connected in some shape or form. As a prominent financial commentator and CEO of ipac Western Australia, Patrick is committed to providing the very best financial advice to people from all walks of life ensuring they are in control of their financial destiny. www.ipacwa.com.au

  1. As a person who was made redundant 3 years ago and havent worked since then I would recommend people go and talk to the free service by Centrelink of meeting a financial advisor as they will let you know what to claim etc
    Although there is a waiting time of up to 2 years after a payout to get new start allowance some concessions are only a 12 month wait, so find out from Centrelink.
    DO NOT feel bad about claiming benefits.
    I claim benefits and they send me to a private job search provider who then sends me to training to learn how to do a CV, then interview skills, then how to look for work etc, all courses that they run and get a kick back from Govt, this is supposedly to make me JOB READY.
    Here’s the rub, I qualify for the aged pension in a years time but the Govt throw money at trying to find me work
    And if I did get a job I wouldnt be able to do it for health reasons but I dont quite qualify for Disability Support.
    Its a joke and political game, so dont feel bad about asking for Centrelink benefits

    1 REPLY
    • That’s all well & good, but it doesn’t always work that way. I was kicked out the door at 60 yo. A requirement for my state government job. A casual job I had came to an end after about 7 months. Off to Centrelink then to the employment company. “Sorry, no training for you. You already have a diploma”. Makes no difference that it’s applicable only to my previous employer & nowhere else. I can’t use it to get a job anywhere. Next was the CV. I had made one from an online template that I found. Their comment when I asked for assistance to build one that was a little more professional – “This one is better than we can do anyway. Don’t worry about it.”

      So, no training, no CV, no job. However the Government still pays them to have me on their books. Helps me a lot!

      1 REPLY
      • I found out from a website that the private job agencies got $650 lump sum when I signed up with them plus a quarterly fee and that is for doing nothing for me

  2. I dropped a couple of boxes to my animal welfare local op shop yesterday, the volunteer who came out to my car and took the stuff in is only 55 and she was told by her employment agency that she has no chance of finding a job and to volunteer 15 hrs a week and collect the dole. We really are between a rock and a hard place.

    1 REPLY
    • I looked at volunteering for 15 hours a week instead of job hunting but no one was offering 2 days of 7.5 hours to reduce travelling costs, they did offer 5 x 3 hours resulting in big petrol costs to get there and a ruination of your week days
      I opted to do the sham of applying for jobs, takes me about 1 hour per week once you get into the swing of it

  3. Please remember that if you become redundant and are over, I think it’s 55, you are entitled to pick up new start and not have to go and find a job to last the few years of your working life. All you have to do is work as a volunteer at places that are covered by Centrelink. You will find that Centrelink do not advise you of this and send you of to an employment agency, this is where you should be advised of this. If not, don’t be shy ask about it, at the moment you have to carry out 15 hours work a week to be eligible to meet these conditions. You will be contacted every 12 months for an appt to follow up with what you will be doing for the next 12 months.
    I believe that things will change slightly very soon, but it will be basically be very similar.

  4. Simple, just keep working until your 70, like the government says. …if you can find anybody to employ you! 🙁

  5. Interesting article. I would have thought that paying off any credit card debt from a payout would be a priority though. I can understand talking to the bank re mortgage repayments, but surely a credit card debt will only make matters worse.

    1 REPLY
    • Hi Jeanette, that’s a good point about credit cards, because of the high interest they charge. My point about holding off repaying debt is that, in this situation, cash is king. Also, I know people who, having paid off their credit cards, unfortunately just go and max them out again on ‘stuff’.

  6. It is all very well to make a budget. You still have to have money to make a budget. The comment about asking Centrelink for help. If he earns more than $400 nett a week they don’t want to know you. I know this as I have been down that track. These people who sit back and advise us what to do if made redundant has it happened to them????

    1 REPLY
    • Hi Wendy, yes indeed I have lived through having my job made redundant. 9 roles cut down to 2, and I wasn’t one of the 2! It was a confronting and scary time of my life as I had a mortgage and children to look after.

  7. Made redundant at 60, couldn’t get Centrelink for 2 years due to the number of weeks redundancy payment then it took another year to get a part time casual job.

    1 REPLY
    • Family and community services help with utilities after 1 year, but you dont get told that you have to find out yourself

  8. Happened to my husband 21 years he had worked and some snot nose just out of uni decided he was not long needed

  9. Gee you’re lucky you got to that age, most of us oldies got shoved out in the “80s when computers came in, many only 50. odd

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