Can you “curate” your employment to anticipate your “retirement” years? Australians are doing it

Can “retirement” include “work”?

And can that “work” be anticipated — and planned for — while you’re still employed in your “pre-retirement” job?

The answers appear to be “Yes,” according to a survey in Australia, reported here. What makes the story particularly interesting is that it shows how SuperAging attitudes are prevalent across the world, and also provides some refreshing new insights into how those attitudes are being displayed.

What’s new here is that workers in the 55 to 69 age group are looking ahead and trying to “shape their working life to align with their lifestyle choices.

“These educated and skilled consumers and workers are now driven less by the need to provide for a family, or pay off a mortage, and more by values and aspirations — and are re-imagining the pre-retirement stages of the lifecycle.”

So much so, in fact, that the researchers see this as an echo of an earlier, much younger stage of life: “The years between 55 and 69 are now in one sense a new ‘teenage’ stage in the lifecycle, created by pre-retirees curating their employment to fit their evolving needs, preferences and aspirations.

“Holidays, hobbies and healthcare take on a new urgency, and unfulfilling or mentally taxing employment takes a back seat to more satisfying endeavors.”

Significantly, 25 percent of retirees had changed careers in the last five years “to stay active, reduce stress, switch pace, and give back and stay connected to the community.”

This suggests that the either/or nature of work/retirement is morphing into more of a flow, where both sides of the equation can be modified as you go along, in anticipation of future needs and wants. “A change-of-career job later in life creates new work relationships, help fund retirement plans and keeps over 55s connected to the wider community.”

This perfectly fits the SuperAging attitudes that we have identified in our book: not only the desire to keep accomplishing, but also to have more control over the future.

(Photo credit: jax10289 on iStock by Getty)

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