Neveretirees: Why South Africans Won’t Retire Early

Apr 11, 2024 | Money

It’s been said that the best financial advice that a person should heed is to prioritise saving for their retirement. But what if you are among those who simply don’t want to retire? There are a select few people in South Africa who just don’t want to ‘settle down’ and drift away into their golden years – even though they’ve achieved financial independence and can easily afford to retire.  

It’s important to remember that there are all sorts of ways to enjoy your latter years, so with this in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why you might also consider yourself one of the ‘neveretirees.’  

A Lack Of Mental Stimulation 

We tend to think of retirement as the door that all elderly people should pass through because their time has come to hang up their hats. However, with modern medicine, healthy living trends, and technology, the retirement age no longer includes aged out individuals. Instead, the retirement category features a growing group of healthy, fit, and driven older people for whom slowing down holds absolutely no appeal. These individuals can’t imagine a life without an ongoing challenge and stimulation of the mind, which is why they tend to put off retiring.  

The Negative Word Association 

There are some people for whom the word ‘retirement’ brings up negative images of what it means to grow old. For instance, it may signify a time when they will be pushed out of what puts a zip in their daily steps, bring about health issues, lead to boredom, incur financial difficulties, and lead to feelings of worthlessness. To avoid all this, they avoid retirement.   

You Love What You Do 

While it’s common to complain about our jobs, there are people who really love what they do and the thought of not doing it fills them with dread. These people have no interest in retirement and plan on working for as long as possible.  

Constantly Chasing The New 

We’re living in a world where there’s ongoing developments, fascinating advancements, and new realms to explore. As some people grow older, they tend to step away from the new and settle in what they know, while for others, life is a constant source of new ideas and creative concepts. For them, there is so much to do and new ways to exploit what they have learnt along the way. Retirement is just not a door they’re willing to go through yet.  

Nothing To Retire To 

Retiring isn’t an option for those who fear a world where they have nothing to do. This is especially true for those still passionate about what they do. For these people, retirement is kept at bay by the opportunity to continue to add value and live an engaged life. The alternative is to step into a life that is a bit meaningless. 

Financial Fears  

This reason to not retire is perhaps the most common of all, and that is because fear around financials is very real. For some, the fear is that if something were to go wrong with their finances, like a dip in investment markets, they wouldn’t be able to return to work and earn what they were earning before retirement.  

Another financial fear is that many people don’t think they can afford to retire. According to the South African Treasury, only 6 out of every 100 South Africans will be able to retire comfortably, so this fear isn’t irrational by any means. The reality is that you need to get expert advice on how much and how to save for your retirement so that you can ensure that you have financial security and stability for your golden years – whenever it is that you decide to do it. 

Feeling informed?  

Regardless of where you are in life, age shouldn’t define your worth and dictate what you do with your time in this world. So, if you believe that the word ‘retirement’ should be retired and want to continue pursuing work that fulfils your passion and skills and gives you purpose… then keep going for it.  

Just don’t forget to plan for your latter years, whatever these look like to you.  

Don’t forget that AA Inform is home to a range of useful tools and resources, including access to free property valuation reports, multiple car and home insurance quotes through the AA Insurance Supermarket, and much more. 

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