18th Oct 2018
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The key to a successful transition to retirement
Author: Ben Hocking
Positive attitude key to retirement

Transitioning to retirement really is a two-stage process, which is about dealing with both the emotional as well as the financial aspects of leaving the workforce.

It is not as simple as making the decision and getting on with an entirely new life. It requires planning, which is best done in conjunction with your nearest and dearest.

YourLifeChoices members understand this perhaps better than most, as we recently discovered with some of the results from the recent Retirement Matters survey.

Nearly 6000 YLC members took the time to complete the survey on a range of topics related to retirement. When they were asked what they believed was the key to making a successful transition to retirement, there were two responses that stood head and shoulders above all others – being healthy (68 per cent) and having a positive attitude (68 per cent).

 


The next most important aspect to a successful retirement was having a strong social network (42 per cent). This was one crucial retirement aspect in which there was a considerable gender discrepancy. Men considered a strong social network less important to the transition to retirement (33 per cent), compared to women (51 per cent).

These figures are fascinating when put into the wider context of what is happening in Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men aged over 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia, more than double the rate of teenagers.

The suicide rate for men aged 85 and older was 39.3 per 100,000 people. In women of the same age, it was 5.7.

The figures relating to male attitudes to having a supportive and strong social network may in part explain this worrying trend.

Only 38 per cent of members considered having a retirement plan as a key aspect of transitioning to retirement, just ahead of the 37 per cent who considered a financial plan important.

Of less importance to the retirement transition were casual or part-time work (25 per cent) and having a bucket list (15 per cent).

Australian readers seeking support and information about suicide and depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on treating depression, please visit Beyond Blue.

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    COMMENTS

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    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2018
    11:04am
    The suicide rate for men aged 85 and older was 39.3 per 100,000 people.

    Lets face they have had enough and are past their use by date so should be allowed to die with dignity instead of the archaic rules we have in force today.
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    11:29am
    That old bloke 2 months ago had to travel to Switzerland to exit this world with dignity just because our politicians think they have a right to deny us our wishes when the time is up. The costs to go thru all the paper work in a foreign country. Had a look at the Swiss news website and they estimated the cost for that person was roughly $US10'000.
    The gentleman had the means, quite a few of us do not.
    johnp
    18th Oct 2018
    11:52am
    Amazing. I agree with OG for once !!
    trood
    18th Oct 2018
    1:57pm
    Also agree
    On the Ball
    18th Oct 2018
    11:57am
    Re: "The suicide rate for men aged 85 and older was 39.3 per 100,000 people. In women of the same age, it was 5.7."
    This is telling...
    Most men work hard all their adult lives, to give themselves and their families a good life. And save enough for retirement for themselves and (usually) their wife - and/or offspring.
    When the "use by" age approaches, there is a decision to be faced:
    Hang on, often in poor health, costing a fortune in medical expenses and for what?
    Lead a miserable few years and exhaust all that retirement fund - then leave the family with nothing - or maybe even a debt, OR, end it all once the "days are numbered" and so leave the family without the responsibility of ongoing care and a bit of a nestegg to live on.
    It is just an extension of the "responsible for the family" ethic.
    KSS
    18th Oct 2018
    12:30pm
    I suspect it would come down to how you define yourself:

    Men tend to define themselves first by what they do: e.g. I'm an accountant, a brickie etc When they retire there is no longer a descriptor they can use and so where do they 'fit in'?

    Women on the other hand tend to define themselves firstly by their relationships: e.g. I'm a mother, wife, etc. These things remain even when they do retire so it's only the 'work' bit that is lost not their entire life! They may no longer be a 'working Mum' but they are still a 'Mum'.

    The essence of their being is not challenged in the same way as men. We still have a fair way to go before men define themselves by their relationships first (husband, father etc),. When they do, the social network indicators would likely change.

    18th Oct 2018
    1:48pm
    Key to a successful retirement is having more money than you need , being healthy and occupying yourself doing the things you love
    Not hard really
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    2:02pm
    "Having more money than you need" might be a pertinent statement for a lot of us. That is where your "not hard really" has a wobble.
    pedro the swift
    18th Oct 2018
    2:25pm
    "having more money than you need"? Now thats the funniest thing I have ever heard. The only people who have more money than they ever need are our "retired" PMs. And our other pollies. No other job keeps paying you a salary and huge perks after you quit even if you jump into another cushy job on a company board or become a highly paid lobbyist for a shonky industry..
    Anonymous
    18th Oct 2018
    3:02pm
    Perhaps you need to adjust your "needs"

    Most people need very little - think you and Jim may be confusing needs with wants
    JJ
    18th Oct 2018
    2:35pm
    I see a definite correlation between suicide rates and social network importance. In my experience males tend to look to their wives for social contact, whereas wives tend to maintain networks outside the home as well. Thus when the spouse is lost the wives still have those outside contacts, which over a long period can become very close, and can still enjoy a good life. Whereas a widowed male often has no significant others to keep him from feeling quite isolated, and many find great difficulty in moving on.
    But I also agree with other comments that a graceful exit should be available to those who really need it.
    Cowboy Jim
    18th Oct 2018
    2:43pm
    Not "need it" JJ, the word is "want it". Your other items are spot on, us blokes cannot endlessly talk about grandchildren like our better halves can. My Mom is almost 96 and feels isolated although living in my sister's home; she misses same age company she tells me but she has been the oldest for a number of years. Looking at that quality of Being I would like the choice of going a bit earlier.
    PlanB
    19th Oct 2018
    11:11am
    I guess as people get to the older age 80 and beyond -- they are terrified of having to go into care and suicide seems a better deal -- I know it does for me
    Bring on Voluntary Euthanasia


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