Retirement is often mistaken to be similar to old age, no job, and dull days. No. Retirement means freedom and a time to do ‘our own thing’. It is leisure and our own terms of living. Retirements are also opportunities to travel, to go back to studies, or to explore another area of paid work. These are the times when one should be in control of their life. These are also the times when decisions and making plans are most important since they determine what happens after you leave the security of a paid job. Plans do not tend to be the same in different places all over the world, and most countries have their own trends and beliefs on what comes after retirement. Different countries also offer different retirement plans and savings for their retirees and these come with different added benefits. Most retirees around the world flock to retirement homes and spend the day engulfed in past-time activities and socializing with other retirees. That is acceptable, since that is the usual norm. But in Australia, home of the Kangaroos, Koalas, and Platypuses, retirement is secure and in most ways, fun.
Lately, Australia has been one of the best around the world in terms of a secure retirement for their citizens. This is provided by the government through The Age Pension, a system where citizens above 65 years old receive a substantial amount of money taken from the government’s general revenue and not from the pockets of the people. This provides them with tested means of providing fair amounts of money to retirees. It is a give and take system, where people and the government both benefit from. People who earn more have their benefits slightly reduced to accommodate those who earn less. Included in the Age pension are discounted medical fees, transportation fees, and bill payments. This is one trick Australia has up their sleeve that provides them with one of the best retirement features from the rest of the world. This is also one thing American Retirement Systems can learn from.
The Super or the Superannuation Guarantee is also one of Australia’s mandatory savings plan. This requires all employees to contribute to their advanced retirement plans. Employees can also volunteer to contribute more than what is required, but surveys show that only 20% of Australians choose to do so. Moreover, this is one way of ensuring that every employee that retires has enough funds to provide for them until they don’t need it anymore.
Adjusting to Retirement
Most Australian surveys show that citizens react differently to retirement, but accept it all the same. There are some that pass a stage of temporary depression or disbelief, mostly after deciding on leaving the work environment and while planning their retirement. It is challenging to leave behind a stable work routine a definite sense of purpose. Destroyed work routines often take a new retiree by surprise and adjusting takes time. For men that do not find a meaningful activity to replace their work, it can bring boredom or a sense of denial. These may affect health and bring about sicknesses that come with old age. It may also bring new relationship issues, due to the different kinds of people encountered during the process. It is not limited to Australians or men only. Both men and women retirees around the world can encounter any of these issues. Most of them though, adapt quite easily to the transition from a specific work routine, to a purposeful stress-free one. It helps when new activities are established, new people are met, and new relationships are formed. A retiree has to open up to possibilities and opportunities in order to merge well with the new environment.
Lifestyle and Activities after Retirement
An active lifestyle does not have to be given up because of retirement. There are many ways to keep up your daily activities without the reigns of work. Unlike the rest of the world’s retirement population, Australia’s retirees tend to join community work and environmental organizations. One trend that is slowly coming to be known around Australia is retirees travelling around their country by caravan. This is popular among Australians who refuse to continue working when they are above 60 years old and whose children have left the nest. Retirees who have time on their hands after they retire tend to purchase a caravan or a mobile home and take on Australia’s open road. Purchasing these campers is becoming more popular every year that most of Australia’s retiree population spends their retirement money on these road machines. These are the perfect way to be adventurous but still keeping safe and imitating the comforts of living in a home. What retirees enjoy most about living in these campers is the freedom that comes with it. This perfectly sums up the purpose of Australian retirement- a comfortable living space, a stress-free, day-to-day living, a purposeful activity, and hard-earned relaxation time. Though choosing what kind of caravan to get is a daunting task for most retirees, reviews on sites selling these caravans show that they go for small, easy to drive caravans that contain all basic living essentials. Australian retirees do not necessarily go for the decked-out, huge campers since keeping up with a big machine is a hard task for old age. Australia has quickly adapted to this trend and most areas welcome these off-road visitors and even offer them special places to stay. These caravans are driven onto special campsites and areas where there are other campers travelling in the same way. They are provided with their own parking spaces, and spaces to set up necessities. Most parks specially build enclosed sites where campers are required to stay in for safety. It is an enjoyable way for retirees to spend their days without compromising fun and the sense of purpose. It helps that Australia has a wide-range of fantastic National Reserves and Parks that cater to these kind of activity away from the busy city life.