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Five signs you are not ready to retire

We all have those days where retirement seems like a dream, but should you keep dreaming of a life without work?

The thing about a career is, it will eventually come to an end. When it does, you don’t want it to be the end of your purpose on this planet. (Source: Shutterstock)

The thing about a career is, it will eventually come to an end. When it does, you don’t want it to be the end of your purpose on this planet. (Source: Shutterstock)

  • Just because you could retire, it doesn’t mean you should retire
  • Some older people may feel underappreciated in the workplace, but their wisdom is invaluable to helping the next generation at work
  • It is incredibly important to have social and financial planning along with superannuation and savings secured before retirement

This edition of Aged Care Guide will address the many reasons why you shouldn’t hang up your hat and close the office door for good. Depending on your skill-set, disciplines, industry and salary bracket — people are always at different stages of their working life and are willing to wind it up at different ages.

Notably, ageism is a particular concern amidst an already dog-eat-dog job market, so in a world of young go-getters, getting back out of retirement may not be a viable option. Here are five signs that you need to quit thinking about quitting.

You make a difference at work

Whether you are a teacher who shapes the minds of the next generation through compelling history classes or a disability support worker who helps clients throughout Australia feel capable of achieving their aims — you make a difference at work. 

However, it’s not just about the service you provide to others, which you’ve become the best at through hard work and dedication, it’s also about the staff members who work alongside you; the people who make it manageable to deal with new changes, challenges and connections. You can only learn so much in a university, but for new recruits joining the team and getting to know the job, an older, wiser and passionate mentor can give them an amazing leg-up in life.

You live longer than you think

Despite the ongoing urban legend about people dying shortly after retirement, it isn’t the sort of myth you should factor into financial planning. People drastically underestimate their own life expectancy based on the fact that the average Australian lives to be 83 years of age. 

However, personal life expectancy is not static and as people continue to live longer, healthier lives — they become outliers of the average. Statistics show that if you make it to the average life expectancy, you are more likely to live for many years thereafter.

As a result, whatever you’ve got stashed in savings or stacked in superannuation won’t exactly be the frugal key to freedom you’re expecting, particularly during the current economic climate.


You may lose your identity

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and as the world changes, so too will the nature of your job. New software will come in, systems, leaders and policies which disrupt the way you do your duties. However, if you’ve thought about retirement based on a bad day at work or you’re feeling disconnected from the way work is changing — the alternative might not be better.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 42 percent of Australians returned to the labour force after retiring because of ‘financial needs’ and 32 percent resulting from being ‘bored’ and ‘needing something to do.’ The social and economic stresses of social and financial factors in retirement living may lead to feelings of boredom, apathy and anxiety surrounding a loss of identity.

Your retirement age may have been delayed

On July 1, the new Pension age of 67 will come into effect for Australians born in or after January 1957, after being set at age 65 over a century ago. Additionally, the Liberal Party unveiled plans in 2014 to increase the age to 70 by 2035. Similarly, France has also raised the age of retirement in order to address burdens on the Government Pension system.

As rising life expectancy rates continue to increase through innovations in health and medicine, the number of older people relative to the work-age population will begin to tip the scale. For Australians aged 67 or older, superannuation retirement savings will become available for transition to retirement. It is important to review changes to your superannuation across the span of your career to ensure an adequate yield for retirement.

The economic climate

Roughly one in four older Australians who are still working feel they will never retire, with those in financially precarious or vulnerable positions significantly more likely to feel this way, according to the third annual State of the Older Nation report.

Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot of over 45,895 residences in 2023 found:

  • 162 rentals (0.4 percent) were affordable for a person on the Age Pension
  • 508 rentals (1.1 percent) were affordable for a couple on the Age Pension

Although older Aussies are more likely to own homes, an older person renting their house or apartment may find that housing becomes a costly factor amidst the metropolitan housing bubble. Cost of living expenses have also increased, with Commonwealth Bank’s CommBank IQ report finding that those over the age of 75 were spending 13 percent more in the past year than they previously were.

As people age, the likelihood of developing or acquiring a disability continues to heighten and Australians over the age of 65 are ineligible for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding. As a result, financial support is available through other systems, such as My Aged Care, which some have argued do not provide adequate support.

Ultimately, the choice to retire does come with a number of well-established mental health and personal benefits. However, the transition to full-retirement is often something which can’t be undone once you’ve pulled the plug, so make sure to give it adequate consideration.


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Retirement villages — which type is right for you?

Retirement lifestyle and facilities



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