Five things people do when checking out of full-time work

According to Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man for four consecutive years,1 we should be working “only three days a week.”

Easy for him to say? Maybe. But he could be onto something, judging by what many of us do when we have more time on our hands.

Booking an overseas holiday

With more time—and hopefully, money—available, it’s little wonder people view retirement as an opportunity to start checking off their holiday bucket list.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, short-term resident departures exceeded short-term visitor arrivals by 1.7 million movements in the year ended December 2016.

In 2016, more Australian residents in older age groups travelled overseas than in 2006, with people aged 60 and over responsible for 17.2% of all departures. The ten most popular destinations were New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, Thailand, China, Singapore, Japan, Fiji and India.

Taking up volunteer work

If you’re checking out of the workforce altogether, or just scaling back the number of days you work, you can join the 5.8 million Australians—or 31% of the population—volunteering their time to a multitude of causes.

According to Volunteering Australia, part-time employees are the most likely to volunteer. The reasons cited include helping others/community, personal satisfaction, personal/family involvement and to do something worthwhile. Canadian research revealed that—perhaps unsurprisingly—the most common reason people don’t volunteer is because they don’t have the time.

Pursuing a hobby

Whatever you choose to pursue, the extra time afforded by no longer working full-time gives you the opportunity to spend more time doing what you love.

According to Roy Morgan Research, as many as one in ten Australian men aged between 65 and 74 play golf regularly, surpassing the rate of occasional play. “There’s a clear correlation with the rise in regular golfing and retirement,” the research states.

With many men checking out of the full-time workforce at age 65, it’s no surprise they use the opportunity to swap irregular weekend rounds with regular participation. Women also play more golf after they reach age 65 but are also more likely to regularly participate in yoga, dancing, aerobics and hiking.


When older Australians retire, many choose to move into a smaller residence with lower maintenance requirements and upkeep costs. The move can provide an opportunity to consolidate belongings and living expenses.

In the Government’s 2017 Federal Budget, the Treasurer proposed a measure for people aged 65 and over to be able to make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution of up to $300,000 into their super from the sale of their primary residence. While the proposal isn’t yet law and there are likely to be conditions, check our 2017 Federal Budget page for updates as developments occur.

Spending more quality time with family and friends

One of the most obvious benefits of checking out of the full-time workforce is spending more time with family and friends. According to Mohit Satyanand, “life is too short for a full-time job.” He could “never go back to full-time work,” feeling “too consumed by the love of life and family to chain [himself ] to the clock of a daily routine.”

Food for thought.

Considering reducing the time you spend at work?

Call UniSuper Advice on 1800 823 842 to talk about the potential impact on your finances and super when reducing your work hours, and how to plan for an optimal outcome.

1Forbes magazine ‘2013 Top 20 Billionaires’