A gap year. It’s something more and more students consider nowadays. Taking a year off to work, travel and get some serious life experience. It’s not a bad idea and for a lot of students it helps bridge the maturity gap into adulthood. Setting them up for a stint in tertiary education or full-time work.
Gap Year for Retirees…
So what about a gap year for retirees? A year to transition from that adulthood and full-time job into the cushier twilight years.
That’s the proposal from Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt anyway. The minister comments:
‘I personally believe we should consider a “seniors gap year”, made available for employees, in the lead-up to the traditional retirement age…
‘Like teenagers have done for decades, as they plan their studies and career paths, this “gap year” could allow older people to map out their future, while maintaining job security.
‘This may involve part-time employment, changing careers, volunteer work or a combination of both.’
It seems Mr Wyatt thinks our pensioners need to work a little longer. A new ‘rite of passage’ for the next stage of your life.
Mr Wyatt conceded that his idea was not government policy. In fact, he hasn’t even consulted with the cabinet yet. Actually, it seems Mr Wyatt was suffering from a slight case of narcissism. Noting that the idea was a result of self-reflection.
Our Politicians Out of Touch
Which probably shows just how out of touch our politicians continue to be. I’m sure Mr Wyatt is eyeing a cushy part-time gig in politics for himself in the future. Meanwhile, everyday Australians 50 and over are struggling to find work as is.
Australians 50 and over spend twice as long looking for a job compared to 15–24 year olds. That’s obviously going to result in two very different ‘gap year’ experiences. Doesn’t seem like great job security to me.
It seems the only thing Mr Wyatt is in touch with is the fact that there is a problem. Here is another comment of his (emphasis mine):
‘The question is what will we do for the next few decades? How will we continue to contribute and how will our knowledge and skills be harnessed for the benefit of society and the economy? The number of us aged 65 and over is projected to more than double during the next 40 years, but we’re still failing to prepare well for living to 100 years of age.’
It seems you’re failing Mr Wyatt. It is your job after all as Aged Care Minister. Don’t just lump the problem with the rest of us, you’re supposed to be fixing this mess, not offering up half-baked ideas like a gap year for pensioners.
For real advice on how to get the most out of your retirement, have a read of our latest report. Vern Gowdie has been showing retirees how to maximise their benefits for years. Don’t settle for a gap year, read Vern’s report, for free, right here.
Junior Analyst, Markets & Money