Working in our 60s: will we be too sick to enjoy retirement? 54



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Australians are living longer and working longer. But will we be healthy enough to enjoy our delayed retirement?

The proposed change of retirement age to 70 raises some vital questions: what health effects will these extra years of work have? Will we be well enough to work at all?

A new report by AMP.NATSEM has examined how Australians age through their 60s, aiming to offer some answers. While the study offers worrying projections for the next generation of retirees – those currently in their forties – it has equally sobering implications for this one.

By 2035 (when the proposed Age Pension change would take place), one in five women and one in four men in their 60s will be in fair to poor health, and will likely have trouble working.

The report also suggests that of those in poor health, the majority will not be able to find work in their 60s.


Paul Sainsbury, AMP Chief Customer Officer, suggests we need to completely re-think the concept of retirement. “Reaching a certain age shouldn’t mean we need to leave the workforce entirely. Early years in retirement should be a transition period with reduced levels of work, giving people more time to focus on their interests and wellbeing, while still saving money”.

Professor Laurie Brown from NASTEM emphasised the importance of future retirees looking out for their heath and wellbeing today. “Currently, the majority of Australians leave the workforce before the age of 65. With the possibility of this increasing to 70 over the next 20 years, younger Australians need to consider the importance of their long-term health and its impact on career, wealth and retirement”.

Read more in the below infographic, and tell us: are you still working? Have you ever felt work was impacting your health? And how do you feel about the next generation working for so much longer? 


NATSEM Retirement Infographic 1 NATSEM Retirement Infographic 2

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Am still ‘working’ going through large renovation at moment only thing difficult is lifting heavy things,age is a state of mind I’m 72 but feel 22!

  2. Start again. People are being kept “alive” longer, not “living” longer! Living means that you can eat what you want to eat, do what you want to do and go where you want to go. Being kept alive means you are not yet dead. Those who want everyone to work until they are 70 show no respect for the years of work they have done or the massive contribution to our society. Until old aged pensioners can be looked after properly, STOP spending OUR money on foreigners. This is not racist just look after your own first!!!

    1 REPLY
    • I agree look after your own first & I’m not racist either,although I worked to 70,have written article in this column read above,charity begins at home…

  3. Still working; fall at work has dramatically affected my health requiring continuous tteatment and with far-reaching affects in most areas of life. Planning to keep working another 5 years as need to pay off the mortgage. Earlier retirement not an option.

    2 REPLY
  4. If you have a job lready and you feel you can keep working fine , but your over 50 the chances of you finding a job are slim

  5. I’m 61 and currently facing the decision of whether to push on at work knowing that it is impacting my health, or retire on an inadequate superannuation. It’s tricky – I think if you are healthy and enjoying your job then working on could very well have a positive impact on your health. Everyone is different – most of my friends who have retired before 65 have done so for health reasons.

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