Welcoming older workers
As more of our over 60s continue to participate in paid employment, retirement villages are no longer exclusively home to full time retirees. The flow on effect of this is that contemporary villages are attracting an energising mix of those easing in to retirement and those that have retired. Workers are not only welcomed, but encouraged.
Over 60s in the Australian workforce
In 1993, 15.2% of Australian women in the labour force were aged between 60 and 64. In 2013, just 20 years later, this percentage has risen threefold, to just over 45% (based on research published by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research). Men over 60 have increasingly stayed on the payroll too.
"Older Australians are clinging to work for longer, particularly women older than 60, whose labour force participation has jumped by 300 per cent in just 20 years," wrote The Australian journalist, Shane Rodgers on 15 June 2015. At Retirement Communities Australia (RCA), our sales team and village managers are increasingly observing this trend throughout our villages in Wyndham Grange Village in Tarneit; Main Street Village in Pakenham; Point Cook Village; Mornington’s Beleura Village; Martha Cove Village at Safety Beach and Pakenham’s Cardinia Waters Village.
Too youthful for permanent retirement
Living longer, healthier lives than previous generations is a big positive. However, being energised beyond our grand-parents later years requires a heftier piggy bank to enjoy our healthier, lengthier, more active lifestyles. We can travel later, take part in sports and fitness for longer, volunteer for longer, be more actively involved with grandchildren for longer or start new relationships – all which were beyond our grandparents expectations in their retirement years.
Striking the balance
Statistics are indicating that the days of celebrating permanent retirement send offs at a defined age, are becoming redundant (no pun intended).
Without a doubt, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) impacted many people’s intentions to retire from paid employment. Government and industry policies have attempted to incentivise employers to support older workers. For example, Transition to Retirement (TTR) provisions have been put in place to support employees that have reached preservation age to reduce their work load – or at least their agreed working hours – while accessing their superannuation to help ease into retirement. Incentivising employers to engage older workers is the intent of the Restart Wage Subsidy. Policies like these can work to lift the wellbeing of older workers, and help balance the quality of resources and knowledge transfer while prospective retirees gradually phase out of the work force.
Major corporations have had mature age employee programs in place for many years now, in recognition of an evolving culture – for many reasons – of gradually retiring, or expressing a desire to never retire.
Here are just some ways that seniors are keeping engaged with their careers in their mature years:
- moving from full-time employment to part-time and maybe phase to full time retirement
- retiring permanently from their current role, and sitting on a Board or three
- reducing paid working hours, and taking up volunteer opportunities
- moving to self-employment, or business coaching- online ventures are a good option
- retiring part-time or permanently and taking up hobbies or sports that they’re passionate about.
At RCA villages, our Active Management model means that each village is run by the equivalent of a body corporate – a Resident Committee of Management (COM) with seven out of the 10 members, residents elected by the residents. Representing residents on the COM requires commitment and drive, and is a great way to keep engaged in a very purposeful way. Each Committee is an impressive representation of accomplished people with noteworthy career histories.
Is it time to reprioritise?
If you’re a baby boomer, you’re more than likely an empty nester too. If the property you are living in is more than a couple of decades old, ongoing repairs and preventative maintenance can consume any spare time you might have.
Maintaining a family sized property for just one or two people, and juggling employment or other commitments, may be eating into your leisure time for few benefits.
From our experience, our village residents local to Mount Eliza and the Mornington Peninsula that once soaked up the privileges of having half, or one acre of beautifully manicured grounds to nurture growing families – found the demands of maintenance diminished the availability of time that could be better spent holidaying, socialising or taking part in activities that they love.
You don’t need to be permanently retired to enjoy a low maintenance, active retirement village lifestyle.
Links to helpful information to help you plan your phased retirement
ASIC’s MoneySmart website > Superannuation & retirement
ASIC’s MoneySmart website > Life events and you > Over 55s
Australian Government Department of Employment website > Restart Wage Subsidy
Australian Institute of Company Directors website > Director Resource Centre
Australian Government website > Information and services > Jobs and workplace > Retirement
Australian Volunteers website > Volunteer
Retirement Communities Australia > Retirement Villages in Victoria FAQs – free eBook