Why are more Australian seniors working in retirement?

By Darren Moffatt

June 27, 2024


When it comes to retirement, we often think about slowing down and enjoying a life of leisure. 

But the truth is, many retirees don’t fully step away from work. 

A study by Allianz on the Epic Retirement Community found that a whopping 77 percent of people nearing retirement are open to working in some way after they retire. 

This shows that staying active and engaged through work is a popular choice among seniors.

[ RELATED POST: Australian government encourages more pensioners to go back into work ]

Continuing to Work: A Common Trend Among Retirees

The Allianz study highlights that 38 percent of those close to retirement plan to seek part-time work or other job opportunities. 

Another 39 percent are open to working but haven’t made any concrete plans yet. 

This means a significant number of retirees are thinking about staying in the workforce, whether through traditional jobs or more flexible arrangements.

Whether it’s part-time roles, consulting gigs, or passion projects, retirees are finding various ways to stay productive. 

This trend aligns with societal changes where longer, healthier lives allow people to extend their careers and continue contributing in meaningful ways.

Motivations for Retirees to Stay Engaged in Work

Why do retirees want to keep working? The reasons are diverse. Some are looking for mental stimulation and social interaction from part-time work. 

Others enjoy the flexibility and creativity that come with consulting or pursuing passion projects. 

For many, work provides a sense of purpose and fulfilment that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Benefits of Continued Work in Retirement

  1. Work gives retirees a reason to get up in the morning and a sense of achievement.
  2. Being part of a work environment helps maintain social interactions and reduces loneliness.
  3. Extra money from working can make life more comfortable and less stressful.
  4. Engaging in work tasks helps keep the mind active and sharp.
  5. Some jobs involve physical activity, which can promote better health.
  6. Having a regular work schedule adds structure to daily life, making days more predictable and fulfilling.

Top Opportunities for Australian Seniors

  • Part-Time Jobs: Roles in retail, hospitality, and administration are popular.
  • Consulting Roles: Seniors can leverage their expertise for freelance consulting projects.
  • Freelance Work: Opportunities in writing, graphic design, or digital marketing.
  • Volunteering: Giving back to the community through various organisations.
  • Passion Projects: Turning hobbies or interests into income-generating activities.
  • Tutoring and Mentoring: Sharing knowledge and experience with younger generations.

[ RELATED POST: Five Awesome Work From Home Opportunities for Australian Seniors ]

Supplementing Retirement Income with a Reverse Mortgage

If you’re looking for financial stability, a Reverse Mortgage might be just what you need. A Seniors First Reverse Mortgage can boost your current income, helping to relieve the stress of daily living expenses. 

It can cover costs like groceries, utility bills, home maintenance, car servicing, or even medical expenses. 

By tapping into the equity of your home, you can avoid the stress of moving or selling your property. 

Plus, you remain the full legal owner of your home and can benefit from any increase in its value.

Want to learn more about Reverse Mortgage? Find out more about how to use a Reverse Mortgage for debt consolidation or download your FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE

Ready to Apply? You can now check your eligibility online or call Seniors First on 1300 745 745. 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial advisor before you make any decision.


  • I think it is great if any retired person wants to continue working whatever there age, we are at the moment a very under utilised work force.
    However, I have another issue with things when a couple , married or otherwise, have one partner working full time (lets say) the other is perhaps a volunteer, or a stay at home partner etc, and then the working partner may earn a bonus or a pay rise, and the non working partner then has their pension reduced. This then means that the couple can not save as much as they might have otherwise, if the non working partner was able to retain their full pension. Perhaps another way would be for the total of the working partners salary and the non working partners pension, are added together, either fortnighly or monthly, and that sum total is what gets taxed at a lower rate, because most elderly citisens have worked and paid tax all of their lives, which could be 50 to 60 years.

  • Periodic working after “retirement” is entirely logical. There should most certainly NOT be any effect on “pensions” or “retirement” payments because a “retired” person does some work. Bear in mind that “retired” people invariably have a skill set which is invaluable, and needed.

  • I don’t understand the logic behind limiting the amount of work my wife and I can do.I am in the health industry and our knowledge and ability are being wasted.
    Why would we want to pay 50% penalty on earning more than
    22000 per yr combined.We work in regional South Australia and we are not easy to replace

    • I agree Doug, so much talent being wasted because of these unreasonable penalties. You would think the government could see the wisdom of making it possible for us to give more of our time to working so we can make our contribution to the economy.
      I am in the health industry too, which as we know is under immense pressure, and I find it frustrating that offering my expertise is being unnecessarily restricted.

  • I am 75 and work fill time – I don’t have much choice unfortunately . We have had unexpected curve balls thrown at us and needs must

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