7 tell-tale signs that 2020 is your year to retire

7 tell-tale signs that 2020 is your year to retire

7 tell-tale signs that 2020 is your year to retire.png

As a Boomer, you’ve likely spent up to two thirds of your life earning an income. You’ve contributed as a tax payer. If you raised a family, you may have unleashed salary earning, tax paying adults into the economy.  Chances are you’re increasingly turning your thoughts to retirement. Many people choose to retire when they can start claiming the age pension or divest their superannuation funds. Yet retiring from work forever on your 65th birthday is only one of many paths you could pick if good health is on your side.  

Provided your finances are in reasonable shape for your stage of life, retirement can happen when and how you want it to. Putting a plan in place first is always a wise idea. So, when is the ideal time to retire and how do you know?

Is it time to start transitioning to retirement?

If you’re starting to think about retirement you’ve likely had decades of practice of making life-changing decisions. Like any significant lifestyle decision, retiring from work commitments can generate the full spectrum of emotion from feeling loss or fear through to elation.

Here are some tell-tale triggers that it’s time to consider winding down from the workforce.

Your 60th birthday celebrations are a distant memory

Remember being young and wondering about when that over-sixty person in the corner was going to call work a day and retire? You probably never imagined being that older work colleague, and here you are.  If work is no longer providing you with the career and social buzz it once did, it may be time for some serious planning about what to do about it.

It may be that you just need to change jobs rather than retire altogether. Consider booking an appointment with a career change consultant – an expert that can help you sort out if it’s a career change you need, or if it is time to start transitioning to retirement.

If your profession is directly contributing to less than optimal health issues, it may be time to put your twelve-month plan in place toward retirement.

Or maybe you’ve turned 65 plus and are now eligible for the age pension, and that’s reason enough for you to give notice.  That alone as a retirement trigger may be okay but do keep reading. There’s much more to consider yet.

You’ve achieved your financial goals

If you’ve already worked out how much money you need to fund your retirement years, and you’ve hit that goal, you’ve earned your retirement! You could choose to retire right now or keep working. If your finances and health are in good shape, then your future is yours.

Unfortunately, few of us will achieve that ideal nest egg. Here are some other triggers that may lend themselves well to your retiring over the coming year. You’ve:

  • made your final mortgage payment and you have no high interest debts to your name

  • spent the last six to twelve months living on your retirement budget and survived

  • varied sources of income to draw from.

In most cases, once you’re a debt free home owner you have a financial safety net to support your decision to retire.  

Life outside of work is increasingly a priority over work

Every month, it feels as though yet another friend has retired. Work mates all seem to be getting younger, and your view is that they’re inexperienced in work and in life.  You’re loving your weekends, public holidays and holidays more than ever before.  You have plenty to do already, and work is really getting in the way of those activities.

If you’re financially able and finding yourself consumed by plans of travel or a yearning to spend more time on outside-of-work interests, it may be time to schedule your retirement date.

Your adult children are now guests or visitors, not dependants

Once your dependants have established their own homes and are financially supporting themselves, you can afford to switch focus to your own lifestyle priorities. You may have spent decades putting your children or other dependant’s needs ahead of yours. If you no longer need to, retirement in the more immediate future may be a positive lifestyle decision.

When your home budget only needs to fund you, or you and your partner, freedom is largely yours. 

Your experience isn’t as valued as it should be

Do you feel like you’re wearing an invisibility cloak at work or at the very least, slowly fading from focus? If you find yourself often feeling the need to remind your younger peers of past career achievements, you have a couple of decisions to consider.

The first is whether to reinvigorate your career.  Imagine committing yourself to a new work initiative or project, that enables you to apply your experience and clearly demonstrate your relevance and value in the here or now. Do you have the gumption? Visualise what this would mean for you. Is a sense of purpose what’s missing right now?

If you decide that reinventing your career is not for you, your next option is to reassess your retirement plan. Are you in a financial position to bring your retirement date forward for an earlier start to the next phase of your life?

Your sense of meaning and purpose is not tied to your work

Retiring simply because you’ve reached pension age is not always the best decision for your mental and social wellbeing. Make sure you understand what retirement means for your day to day life. Can you replace the sense of meaning and purpose work has provided with other activities, loves or causes? Do you have a wish list of experiences that you’ve put on hold, that you could work through in your retirement years? If you can’t clearly see what your retirement schedule will look like, it’s time to do some upfront planning and start exploring ways to lead a fulfilling life outside of work.

You’re approaching a work anniversary with incentives

You may be approaching a special work anniversary. Often work anniversaries award longevity of service with incentives worth working towards. If your next major work anniversary offers you the last significant incentive for the foreseeable future, the work anniversary may be a justifiable trigger for setting your retirement date.

Your employer is offering you incentives to retire

With the reality of a fast-growing ageing population and a pace of change that demands current technical capabilities, many organisations offer incentives to their more mature workforce to retire early. These incentives may be a positive trigger for retirement if your work is no longer your primary source of meaning and purpose (as mentioned earlier). But if your job is still rewarding you with meaning, you don’t always have to jump at the incentive to retire earlier than you’d planned.

You have options to reduce your full-time work hours

Choosing a gradual transition from full-time hours to part-time hours can be a great way to ease into your new lifestyle. Larger employers often offer mature age programs to help older workers transition into retirement, and a step reduction in salaried hours can be a win for everyone involved. Small to medium sized employers could benefit from offering similar retirement transition opportunities. If the tell-tale signs are that it’s time for you to start freeing up your life from work related commitments and you’d like to gradually ease out of full-time work, you’ve nothing to lose by having the conversation about retirement transition options with your employer.

At RCA Villages, we have a growing number of residents who are working and have chosen to transition to full-time retirement on their own terms, and among a community of peers. 

Before you make any decisions about your retirement, make sure to book some time with your financial adviser. Expert advice on how to navigate your finances to fund your retirement years could make a big difference to your quality of life.

Helpful online resources

ASIC > Women > Getting ready for retirement

Human Services > Age pension and planning your retirement

Your Life Choices > Retirement planning

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of a move to a modern retirement village around Melbourne. Booking a tour at one of the RCA Villages around Melbourne can be a great place to start. Visit the website of the village in the region you would like to visit for contact details.

South East Melbourne



Mornington Peninsula




Western Melbourne



Ask about RCA Villages no deposit reservation process on new villas.

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