Retiree couples who plan together thrive together
A University of Queensland researcher is developing a program to help couples make the most of their retirement.
With divorce rates for Australians aged 50 to 60 years increasing by more than 50 per cent in the past 20 years, UQ School of Psychology PhD candidate Ms Angie Ho wanted to give couples the tools to maximise their financial security and physical health and make the most meaningful use of their retirement.
Ms Ho said the program would enable couples to discuss retirement planning in a supportive manner.
"Around one third of people find the transition to retirement extremely stressful," Ms Ho said.
"The increase in divorce rates reflects the difficulties many people experience maintaining positive relationships during this life stage."
"Our study will develop tools to help couples improve their relationships and plan more effectively for the retirement process."
The study is supervised by Professor Kim Halford, Deputy Head of the School of Psychology.
Professor Halford said the increasing numbers of women in the workforce places a stronger emphasis on the need for couples to plan their retirement together.
"Current retirees will live longer than previous generations and are more likely to be in dual income relationships," Professor Halford said.
According to the Department of Communities, Queensland retirement planning should start 15 to 20 years before expected retirement age.
Ms Ho said with the current retirement age being 65 to 70 years of age, planning needs to start not later than when people are in their 50s.
"Planning needs to be done well in advance of ceasing work, and when one is still healthy, independent and able to make well-informed decisions," Ms Ho said.
UQ is seeking volunteer couples aged 50-70 years for the study where one partner or both partners are engaged in paid employment.
Participants will complete two short questionnaires and engage in a couple interview to help researchers understand retirement concerns and gather topics of interest for the program. Each couple will receive a $40 Coles voucher for their time.