While it goes some way to help, a happy retirement isn’t just about the size of your nest egg. Equip puts it well in a recent blog post, “The conversations around retirement tend to focus on money – will you have enough, will it last? While financial security is important, there’s more to retirement than just your bank balance.”

If you’re approaching retirement but not 100 per cent sure you’re ready to take the plunge, a “golden gap year” might be just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re travelling around the world, or working reduced hours to explore your passions, a golden gap year can be the perfect way to dip your toes in the water.

Here are four reasons why:

1. A chance to see what retirement you want  

Part of what’s so appealing about a golden gap year is that it gives you a better idea to how you want your retirement to look. You might find after a year of travelling, you’d prefer to spend your retirement-proper at home. Or, after a year of tinkering on your passion project in the workshop, you may feel the urge to return to full time work. A golden gap year provides valuable insight before you make the final decision.

2. A chance to focus on your wellbeing

After a lifetime of working hard for someone else, it can be quite refreshing to have the opportunity to spend a little bit of time on yourself. Even if you decide you’re going to go back to full time work at the end of 12 months, a golden gap year gives you a valuable opportunity to take a breather and really focus on your wellbeing.

3. A chance to spend time with those who are important

Even if you’re not working a 40-hour week, it’s not uncommon to feel as though you’re not getting enough time to spend with the people who are important to you. A golden gap year will free up your time considerable. Instead of spending three hours arguing with Jan from accounts, you can catch up with your children or grandchildren.

4. Your finances won’t necessarily take that big a hit

A year without full-time work may seem like the death-knell to your finances (especially when you’re on the very cusp of retirement). But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. Super funds like Equip transition to retirement pension products that allow you to still draw a full-time income without having to work those extra hours.

Do you think you would ever consider a golden gap year?

This article is for general information only. You should seek formal financial advice on your specific circumstances.


This article was written in partnership with Over60.