Three Stages of Retirement
By Robin Bowerman
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia
11th August 2010
Understandably, retirement tends to be used as an all-encompassing description of the period spent after a person leaves the workforce.
Retirement, of course, is much more complex than that.
As Rice Warner Actuaries and others have long pointed out, retirement can be divided into three broad stages – active, passive and frail.
And as the debate rages on over the inadequacy of retirement savings for most of the population, the three stages of retirement should be regularly revisited.
A person who has just left work permanently at, say, age 65 typically has an extremely different lifestyle and demands on their savings than a person who has been retired for some years.
Here are the three stages of retirement as summarised by Rice Warner:
With the growing trend for people to stay longer in the workforce, we could perhaps add a significant fourth stage to the periods of retirement: applying to those who are progressively reducing their workloads and adopting lives that are a mix between those of workers and retirees.
The three stages of retirement – or perhaps now four – underline how our financial (and social) needs are likely to change quite dramatically throughout our retirement.
And the stages of retirement underline how difficult it is to make generalisations about people’s lifestyles.
A crucial part of saving for retirement is being prepared to face as best possible, the evolving challenges that will confront us.