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What’s the Retirement age in Australia?

Retirement is one of the biggest milestones in your life. Sometimes it’s a financial decision – whether to retire early or continue working. While other times it’s something more personal or family-related. No matter what it is, the discussion around your retirement age is one full of emotion.

For many, retirement is about enjoying the years ahead to celebrate everything you’ve done in life to get where you are. More time with family, more time to travel and an opportunity to experience new things; whatever retirement means to you, the age you choose to retire will still most likely be based on your financial security.

The financial aspect aside, as it stands in Australia, there are prescribed ages at which the government defines retirement. In 2019, it will be between 55 and 60 years, depending on when you were born, and this age will continue to increase as our population lives longer.

Even when you make the decision to retire, just over a quarter of ‘retirees’ will return to some form of employment, some out of necessity, while others see it as something they enjoy doing. So even though there may be an age that defines retirement, don’t let that define how you choose to live out yours.

When it comes to retirement, you hear a lot of talk around what is called your preservation age. Again, this depends on what year you were born, but generally speaking this is the age that you can access your super. In saying that, even if you’re still in the workforce when you turn 65, your super will available for you to draw on. At the age of 65, you will also be eligible for full or part Age Pension. There are eligibility criteria based on your income and assets, plus other requirements, so find out if this applies to you by contacting CentreLink for more information.

There are other circumstances to consider when planning your retirement age. These considerations are often related to how you tie up loose ends at work or with your business. While they may seem incidental, they can actually have a big impact on the funds you’re entitled to.

For example, redundancy or termination payments (including outstanding annual leave) can be taxed at a lower rate than you other income. Or, if you’re selling your business, you should find out if you’re eligible for the capital gains tax retirement concession. Both of these tax breaks can make a big difference to how you set yourself up financially for retirement.

Obviously, the information we have provided here is to give you an idea of some of the key considerations when it comes to planning for your retirement. We recommend you seek financial advice to help you make the right decisions for your future. After all, putting yourself in the best possible financial position will allow you to make the most of your retirement years with your family and friends.