(How to) rate your retirement

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What makes a good retirement? Money? Friends? Travel? Golf? Grandkids?

There’s no right answer, but a body of research reveals the ingredients that are most likely to tip the scales in your favour as you transition from work to play.

Interestingly, while much of our media focus is on the state of our savings and superannuation, financial wherewithal is really the least important of the four indicators that matter most. In descending order of importance, these indicators are:

  • health
  • connection
  • sense of purpose
  • wealth

This is not to say that wealth is unimportant – far from it – as financial security offers us choice, independence and the ability to purchase important insurances. It also affords us discretion in health services and the rich rewards of travel. But it just pales into insignificance beside the critical need to be healthy in body and mind, and have satisfying familial and social relationships, as well as a high self-esteem based on a strong sense of purpose.

In our ‘Rate your retirement’ quiz, published in our September issue of the Retirement Update, we offer five measures of strength in each of these aspects of retirement. There are no absolute right or wrong answers, and the questions are by no means comprehensive, but when weighted according to their relative importance, they will give you a quick picture of your likelihood of enjoying a happy and healthy later life.

Hopefully the quiz will also prompt you to think about the diverse prerequisites needed to enjoy life after work and the many ways of making life richer.

So, without further ado, why not take our quick quiz?

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Written by Kaye Fallick


Total Comments: 11
  1. 0

    Well Hockey certainly destroyed the retirement plans of an estimated 560000 retirees and soon to be retired and with the revised taper and also the changes to defined benefit plans, the number could be much higher. These are MIDDLE class people that worked and saved under then current law ( Not the wealthy that Hockey was supposed to be targeting, Then Hockey called disabled people rorters whilst he and his cronies were rorting the $288 travel allowance, and Bronwyn Bishop was splurging out hundreds of thousands on herself and Abbott spent $500000 on a vindictive witch hunt on Peter Slipper. Yes, saving sufficient for a comfortable retirement is a joke with Hockey’s changes to Superannuation laws , and what else will the Gov change when it suits them?

    • 0

      Very true, and what makes this even worse is the “reward” of a very highly paid overseas posting to a position which he is certainly not qualified for in regards to his unhumanitarian view of people because of their socio-econmic standing and his propensity to egotistical and hypocritical behaviour. Certainly not ambassador nor statesperson material, by any stretch of the imagination, except his own.

  2. 0

    I think that before the government starts again digging into our pockets, via GST, or other taxes aimed at us, or adjustments to the criteria for the old age pension, they must show in specific terms what else they plan to do. I think the oldies are tired of doing the heavy lifting and deserve a rest.

    It they put just as much energy into generating revenue from increasing opportunities for jobs and boosting the economy. The idea of taking away funds from older people who do not have incomes enough to support them, is lazy way to try and make a difference.

    First, let us see how the lurks and perks of holding office can be trimmed, where is the announced economy for members of parliament? It is ludicrous to impoverish senior citizens while wasting tax money on poorly oversighted industries like the aged care for example.
    Are you so bereft of ideas that this is all you can think of? Let this country get going on renewable energy.

  3. 0

    I completely agree with both of you .. Mike and Fast Eddie.
    I worked and paid super out of taxed income and zap.. “smokin’ Joe ” has really made me change my lifestyle.
    Before increasing GST .. a very lazy way of increasing tax income….

    * go after the big companies who dodge tax and shift profits to other countries

    * cut back on pollies’ perks.. NO ONE to have a gold card after 5 years with all the exPMs included. Lady and gentlemen if you have not made plans why do we the tax paying public have to continue paying you? Also if you take financially renumerative positions on boards then you don’t have access to super.. you are retired or you are not.

    * have a detailed plan for the next 10 years on what we are going to achieve… where is this money to be spent and how does it benefit the whole community… cost it out …

    * shoot the lawyer who keeps contracting these agreements in in private – public partnerships where any shortfall comes out of the public purse… is it not a partnership so does the loss not get shared too?

    * use the “grey army” to investigate centrelink fraud.. we have the time and we can watch all day. Investigate who is actually living in community housing ( I know it sounds like a police state but we only have to do it every 3 years and spongers would soon get the message)

    * Stop funding private colleges and put the money back into TAFE so that Aussie students can be trained PROPERLY in hospitality, carpentry etc

    * remember that we have a great community here. We have made it through rough times before… have a go,
    fair go,
    lend a hand,
    love of land
    laugh at yourself when it is called for.

    These are my few suggestions and I am sure we can come up with more….

  4. 0

    Some people need to “take the Quiz”, the Title of article is (HOW TO) rate YOUR Retirement!
    Wonder if there is a quiz for SOUR GRAPES & TALL POPPY SYNDROME. Get a life!

    • 0

      gigi great comment, just look at the names of the first five persons and everybody realises they are the labor trolls at work

    • 0

      Gigi, what a classic comment!!!!

      Wonder who would get the highest ratings?????

      That is not to say that retires should be happy with all these changes to ‘our’ retirement plans. But the political speeches that we get rammed down our throats in every second posing gets a bit too much!!!!!

      Come back, we need some more comments from you!!!

  5. 0

    OK, I see that a simple article about retirement has turned political with the usual respondents arguing their side of politics, few facts, much rhetoric.
    My opinion of retirement, for what it’s worth, is that firstly retirement is a state of mind not a set of numbers. When you are ready, you will know. Secondly I have often heard the comment that retirees don’t get weekends and whilst this sounds silly, there is a lot of truth in it. Weekends while you are working are for relaxing, doing odd jobs, mowing lawns, playing sport or spending time with family. If you don’t have weekends you can do all of these things anytime but I believe that odd jobs should be written down or they may never get done. As when working, there should be a discipline.
    Thirdly, when you retire you go from people relying on you to turn up whether you are the boss or the guy who unlocks the gate. There is that feeling of belonging that goes away when nobody cares what you do any more. I believe that a retiree should find some sort of work, either voluntary or paid, that makes them be responsible enough to turn up and again be part of a team.
    Lastly, you need to live so make sure there is enough money coming in to do those things that you want to do. Some have super, some do not. Some get the age pension, some do not. Most people have a bit of each and there should be enough to give a retiree peace of mind.

    • 0

      Good post Old Man. I think it’s important to feel like you are making a worthwhile contribution in some way. My advice would be start planning for your retirement before age 40. Retirement offers a lot more freedom but I have met hundreds of retirees and we vall seem to have a sense of after shock. We’re really busy for the first couple of years. Many retirees travel non stop.

    • 0

      Well said Old Man, I am guessing such wisdom comes from experience. When I look over my life I think of my lucky stars … And that includes when I was in the Army I was given the order, “Prisoner and escort quick March, left righ left right halt. Prisoner one step, forward escort one step back. How do you plead.” ‘Guilty Sir.’ That was a fairly lonely time but I still consider myself lucky as over the next month I had plenty of time to consider my place in the world. I blackmailed my Court Marshal Colonel and was reinstated back into my Corp and allowed to ‘soldier on’. It’s only been up from there!!!!
      (During that month of ‘inactivity’ I read the Aust Defence Forces Law Manual and made a submission about the injustice I had suffered at the hands of the Court Marshal which was my blackmail submission … Let me back ‘in’ or you Sir have to answer to a higher tribunal! It worked!!!! Lucky aye????)



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