Even if you’re not rich in money, when you retire you’ll be rich in time. Here are some great ways to make the most of it without breaking the bank.
Have a rail holiday
All state country rail and coach bodies offer heavily discounted, or even free, travel options for seniors. In Victoria, for example, pensioners receive a yearly free travel voucher for travel on VLine. In NSW pensioners get up to four one-way travel vouchers a year. In Queensland, pensioners enjoy heavily discounted fares on all major regional routes and in WA seniors get four free travel vouchers every two years.
Do a house swap
There are lots of house swap websites covering both domestic and international exchanges. You’ll save hundreds on accommodation, and in some cases, can arrange to swap cars and even look after one another’s pets for even more holiday savings.
You don’t necessarily need to join a gym to get fit. There are free or low-cost fitness classes and clubs, some specifically for seniors, all over Australia. For example, the Heart Foundation runs Heartmoves, designed for people who haven’t exercised in a while. The Live Life Get Active program partners with corporate and local council sponsors to provide free fitness classes in parks across Australia on weekdays. And your local council will likely have some options as well.
Go to a talk
Head to your local State Library’s website and you’ll find a host of free exhibitions and lectures on their calendar. Check out your favourite book store’s website while you’re at it. Chances are they’ll have regular free presentations by visiting authors.
Whether you miss work, or just want to give back, volunteering can be a great way to stay active and ensure your skills don’t go to waste. Head to Volunteering Australia’s website to find something near you. It could be anything from tutoring kids to helping out a charity.
You might not want to go to university for a fully-fledged degree, but there are other options. Find a Neighbourhood House or Centre near you and browse their course guide. You’ll find dozens of low-cost courses from basic social media to cooking to music, as well as support and social groups. There are also adult education bodies such as the Centre for Adult Education in Victoria and the Centre for Continuing Education in NSW which offer a wide range of short courses.
Take a walking tour
Just because you’re a local, doesn’t mean you know everything about your city. You can find free walking tours with local guides in most capital cities run by the likes of city councils and local historical societies.
Get a job
It might sound absurd if you’ve just retired, but working a few hours a week can help you make the transition to complete retirement while boosting your income. Retirees can earn $164 per fortnight, or couples $292 combined, before it affects their age pension entitlements. Having a part-time job means your super can keep growing, thanks to contributions from you and your employer. And while many older workers encounter ageism in the workforce, there are employers who seek out of the skills and wisdom of more mature workers. Bunnings, for example, employs many retired tradies to provide expert advice to DIY customers. Visit olderworkers.com.au
Get a pet
If you’ve always wanted an animal but couldn’t fit it into your life, now’s the time. Animals provide companionship and in the case of dogs, motivation to get out of the house and stay active.
And if you’re worried a boisterous new dog isn’t for you, visit petrescue.com.au and adopt a senior pet in need of a home. If you don’t want the expense or commitment of your own dog, offer to take a friend or neighbour’s pooch out for a stroll.
Rent out a room
If you have a spare room, or granny flat, you could earn some extra income and meet people from all over the world by renting it out to students or tourists. Airbnb has given people the world over a way to make money from their property. If you live in a university town you might consider hosting an international student at your place.
Keep your super invested when you retire and grow your income.
Turn your super into an income stream when you retire and you can receive a regular income to top up the Age Pension, while the balance stays invested.
Everything you need to know is at industrysuper.com.