Will We Ever Be Able To Retire?

January 17, 2017

A recent article by Jason Murphy of News.com has crushed the SheBrisbane teams dreams of retiring as it seems it may never happen…

“It is becoming more possible that a nice long retirement is not in my future. Like free university education and affordable housing, it might be joining the list of things Baby Boomers enjoyed but the current generation won’t.

The Australian government’s website says this: “By the time you are 55, you might be thinking about retirement and what to do once you stop working.”

That is, frankly, dreaming. If you expect to stop clocking in age 55, you probably work at an investment bank.

By age 55 you’ve probably done around 30 years of work. Maybe less if you took a bit of time off to have a baby or two, or a midlife crisis where you retrained or if you were unemployed for a bit.

People are starting work later than they used to. I got my first full time permanent job age 23, and that’s probably not too unusual. Some may wait until their mid or late 20s even, if they muck around overseas for a while, for example, or if they do something even more extravagant like getting a PhD.

We are getting married later and signing up to buy a house later. The average age of first homebuyers is shooting up — almost four in every 10 first home buyers is now aged over 35, according to official statistics. If you get a 30-year mortgage at age 40, you are probably not ready to retire by 60.”

The average household age 60 has about $300,000 in super. They may have a million dollars worth of assets, but a lot of it is the family home, so it is not easy to access.

That means any retirement is likely to depend on some sort of pension. And do you think the government wants to pay out the pension?

Instead, they will try to make us stay in the workforce longer. The current government had a plan to move the pension age moved from 65 to 70.

All this is why the current generation is we’re likely to still be working in our 60s and 70s. Which will not be easy at all if your job involves a lot of manual labour. Even if your job is in the service sector or the so-called knowledge economy, when you start talking about working into your 80s, rising rates of dementia become relevant,” suggests Murphy.

The notion of ‘Working until you can’t’ was what we all expected a century ago and from what it seems we are about to experience deja vu. What are your thoughts?


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