Four Reasons why Only 50% of Australians Retire at 65 Years

By Darren Moffatt

July 23



No plans to stop working when you hit 65? 

You are not alone. 

Recent data from Councils on Ageing (COTA) reveals that majority of Australians don’t want to stop working even if they reach retirement age. 

While there’s no fixed retirement age in Australia, people are expected to stop working at around age 65 because that is the qualifying age for the pension. 

But more and more people believe that is no longer realistic, and here are the top reasons. 


  1. Not Enough Savings

Based on the estimates published by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), senior Australians who are not paying any mortgage and in relatively in good health need the following amount of money 

Source: AMP

But according to COTA, 45% of Australians don’t feel financially secure enough so they still continue working. 


2. Covid19 

Superannuation is a hallmark of the Australian pension system. But the Coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected this reserved fund. 

As markets plummeted since March last year, super balances were severely depleted as Australians choose to withdraw their super to survive the crisis. 

Data from COTA shows that 54% of people aged 65 to 68 was planning to retire in February 2020 but that plunged to only 39% in March of the same year. 


3. Physical & Mental Health 

While finances are the number 1 reason why Australians don’t want to retire, some working seniors choose to stay in the workforce to sustain physical and mental health. 

“Working longer promotes better financial health but we also now know it promotes much better physical and mental health,” says National Seniors Australia (NSA) chief advocate Ian Henschke. 

In a study published by BMC Public Health retirees who are still in the workforce reported better health and wellbeing than those who stopped working. 


4. Passion 

In a recent article published by Sydney Morning Herald, Professor James Trevelyan said that retiring at age 65 is an outdated concept. 

The 73 year old from Perth continues working full time as a self-employed engineer. 

“Retirement only describes the walking dead,” he reckons. 

Fortunately in Australia, the rights of seniors to continue working is protected

As long as you are still fit, you have the right to stay without being discriminated against because of your age. 

But the case may be different if you are a senior and you are looking for a job. 

Older workers may find it difficult to impress employers and learning new skills and changing careers in the time of pandemic can be challenging. 


What are My Alternatives? 

Sadly, not all seniors will have the chance to continue working. 

Many Australian seniors have to give up their work rights because of bad health. 

And with retirement savings heavily affected by the ongoing pandemic, what are the options left for seniors? 

One possible alternative is getting a reverse mortgage loan

With this financial solution designed for seniors who are assets rich but cash poor, you can access your home equity. 


Do you still plan to continue working when you hit retirement age? Let us know in the comments below! 



  • I am physically fit, am mentally stable (I believe) and absolutely enjoy my job. I have worked as a residential care worker for 38 years and have supported people with physical and intellectual disabilities. I have supported people from their teenage years until they have arrived at their mid fifties and have a wonderful rapport with many. I have seen many, many managers come and go as they climbed the ladders without much genuine investment. I have a wealth of knowledge of ileostomy, PEG, epilepsy, and psychiatric disorders, but mostly I am still here because if my absolute believe that the people I support are human beings deserving of the right to dignity and respect, not as commodity in a career ladder. I love my job, every day I go to my place if employment I hope to do good by the people I support. I am 68 years of age, I have a wealth of knowledge to share still.

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