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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Comments (3) | Add a comment

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Nicky Vaux
By Nicky Vaux NSW | May 31, 2012, 09:47 AM

I agree with Karen and Ita - after all if you are doing something you love there is not need to retire - just add in longer holidays and maybe have a really good team around you for support when you can't do the 70 hour week you used to ! Reply

  • Rebecca Bodman
    By Rebecca Bodman NSW | May 31, 2012, 10:04 AM

    I thinks that's the key Nicky! People who love what they do don't want to give that up.

  • Emma Isaacs
    By Emma Isaacs NSW | May 31, 2012, 02:58 PM

    Love that philosophy Nicky!

Karen Curran
By Karen Curran NSW | May 31, 2012, 09:20 AM

No, not by choice. I agree that we have too much to contribute to the world. Go Ita! We might change direction and may slow down a little, but never retire. My late dad passed away 21 years ago on a day that he was still working and contributing to society and had a great influence on me. He was a solopreneur and had slowed down a little, but his heart was weakened by WW2 and gave up. He was my initial mentor and inspiration in setting up business. I love my work and I try to inspire others to be enthusiastic and positive in able to adapt to all the changes we are subjected to in life. Retirement with nothing to do holds no interest for me. I may slow down a little, or change direction, but I don't want to stop altogether. Keeping your mind and body active and alert, and contributing to society in some way, be it through family or a special cause, I have observed, appears to be the key to living happily to a longer life and being more fulfilled. Women like Ita and Olivia, Oprah and so many more like them in BC who are inspiring, give me more to aspire to and look forward in life.Reply

  • Rebecca Bodman
    By Rebecca Bodman NSW | May 31, 2012, 10:24 AM

    I agree! Thanks for your comment!

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