To retire or not to retire - that is the question

By Rebecca Bodman | Jul 01, 12 08:13 AM

A recent comment by Ita Buttrose has made me think about retirement ...

At our recent Canberra Breakfast with Ita Buttrose, I overheard a conversation between Ita and one of the guests. Ita asked this woman what she did for work and the woman replied, ‘I’m actually retired”. There was a deafening silence … Ita stopped signing the book, looked up over her glasses and said “Do the authorities know about you; have you been reported? We’re not allowed to retire; we need to hang on till we drop!” This was met with laughter from the surrounding gaggle of women, but I have no doubt – Ita was deadly serious!

My grandmother’s a bit like Ita. At 75 years young, she’s working in a high flying position and has a social life to rival any twenty something socialite. I called her last Monday during lunch time and could hear funny music in the background – she couldn’t talk, she was at a lunch-time line dancing class?! No, she’s not a seasoned line dancer; she thought it would be fun!

Ita’s comment made me think about myself. I’m in my twenties and at the moment see myself living out my life guided by Ita’s philosophy. At the other end of the spectrum, my fiancé is determined to retire at 45 and spend the rest of his life fishing off the back of his jet ski (easily amused he is!).

The 2010 -11 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) revealed that of the 8.5 million people aged 45 years and over who had, at some time, worked for two weeks or more, 36% had retired from the labour force. Interestingly, of the 4.9 million people in the labour force aged 45 years and over, 79% indicated that they intend to retire from the labour force in the future. It seems the stats stack up against Ita doesn’t it …

How many people have their lives mapped out and their retirement date dangling in front of them like a bone to a dog? Do you intend to retire and spend your remaining years rewarding yourself for all your hard work; or do you have difficulty imagining yourself as a non-working woman? If your life kept cruising along and you had the choice, I’d love to know – do you see yourself retiring?


Ita is our next brekky guest in BrisbaneMelbourne, Adelaide and Perth - do not miss your chance to hear this trail blazer!

Rebecca is the Marketing and Content Coordinator here at Business Chicks, connect with her here.

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