10 April 2013

Two ladies at work looking over filesPlanning for retirement involves more than your financial future - thought also needs to be given to what will keep you busy and healthy on a day-to-day basis.

An upcoming free public seminar at the University of South Australia as part of its Successful Ageing seminar series will explore these issues with Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Carol Maher.

“People don’t tend to plan for living without the structure of work in their lives,” Dr Maher said.

“A lot of retirees plan a holiday but beyond that, there is a lot of time to fill. All those hours that were spent at work can be spent on something else but the freedom to make those choices represents an opportunity but also a risk for health.

“People who had quite physical jobs will lose activity when they stop work and most people will lose easy access to social interaction and cognitive challenges.

“These factors are at least as important to wellbeing as anything else. The saying ‘use it or lose it’ applies to brain and body, so planning for physical, intellectual and cognitive stimulation in retirement is as important as making financial plans.”

Joining Dr Maher at the Successful Ageing seminar is Dr Peter Winwood a Research Associate in UniSA’s Centre for Applied Psychological Research who will look at the financial side of retirement.

“The retirement reality is that many workers are facing difficult financial circumstances,” Dr Winwood says. “The Baby Boomers who have started retiring in the past few years have only had superannuation since 1992 and that’s just not long enough for them to have accumulated sufficient funds, and they have also taken a big hit in the GFC.

“Recent research that I undertook showed that what these people want is the opportunity for part-time work until their retirement finances can be stabilised.”

At the seminar, Dr Winwood will particularly target people in their 50s who might still have another 15 years of work, and encourage them that now is the time to put money into their retirement.

“I also think people should pass the message onto their kids – hammer it into them that they need to plan for their retirement as soon as they start working because you won’t be able to get those 30 years back,” Dr Winwood said.

The April 19th Successful Ageing seminar (at the City West campus on North Tce) is a free event but registration is essential - please phone (08) 8302 0160 or email giving@unisa.edu.au

Media contact: Kelly Stone, Media Liaison Coordinator phone (08) 8302 0963 email Kelly.Stone@unisa.edu.au

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