How 3 Millennials And Gen Z Are Setting Themselves Up For Retirement Success

By Jaiden Bhaga
4th Jan 2023

How 3 Millennials Are Setting Themselves Up For Retirement Success

I've thought about retirement a lot. In fact, I could give you a complete run-down of what I'll be doing daily in my retirement. I plan on blissfully bouncing between Disney theme parks across the world, holing up in a quiet park with a paintbrush in hand, and blasting 'old-school' Midnights album on repeat. 

Sure, I've received some surprised looks from friends and family when I talk about my retirement ambitions, but AMP found that 9 in 10 millennials surveyed have started thinking about retirement, and unearthed how Australians are defining retirement—I quickly realised I wasn't alone. It turns out, 90 per cent of Australians not yet retired have started to think about it.

So to dig a little deeper, we've partnered with AMP to share three millennial and Gen Z Urban List team members' perspectives on planning for the future. 

Wilco, 41

Head Of Brand & Culture | Retirement looks like: Endless Saturdays

When I was a kid, if anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always responded with 'retired'. I'm not sure why retirement conjurors up such an appeal. I love working and have always been ambitious but the idea of doing whatever you want, whenever you want, sounds like pure freedom to me. 

My husband and I have been privileged enough to do two 'trial retirements' over the past decade. Each time we took six months off work to travel, adventures we dubbed our 'six months of Saturdays', and I can confirm, they didn't disappoint. Of course, they weren't like shorter Euro summer holidays where you splurge on fancy dinners or boujee accommodation. There were years of planning, and serious savings involved ahead of both trips, and we had extremely strict daily budgets while travelling, but it was a small sacrifice to pay for our experiences.  

Planning for these adventures is no different from planning for our' infinity of Saturdays' (retirement). We have always been careful with our money and first invested by purchasing our small inner-west Sydney apartment years ago before the property market went a bit cray. We have since relocated to the Gold Coast and have purchased our forever home. Our retirement plan is a simple one. Pay off both homes when we can, keep the Sydney apartment rented out as a nice little income earner, plus save whatever cash we can manage in the meantime also—we've got a few years. It's a simple plan, but complex investing/offsetting/negative-gearing is not for us.  

When that day does arrive, I'm looking forward to long boozy lunches on a Wednesday, heaps more travel and spending lots of time with my mates and family. Sounds pretty bloody good to me. 

Hamish Taylor, 35

Brand Partnership Director | Retirement looks like: Family and adventure

I'd be lying if I said I've never really thought about retirement. In fact, I think about—and feel like—retiring most Tuesday mornings. Mondays are for catching up with the team, refreshed from the weekend, ready to rip into doing a job you love—and I do love what I do for work. 

But Tuesdays are for realising you should have done more work on Monday. There are more items on the to-do list and less time to tick them off. Plus, tomorrow's not Friday, and neither is tomorrow's tomorrow. It's all a bit overwhelming.

Just because I spend Tuesday mornings thinking about retirement doesn't mean I started planning my path. Financially, there are so many hoops I feel like I need to hop through first. My wife and I have spent time living on the other side of the world; we've indulged in trips—short and long—we like to eat out, go to the cinema, go to a gig and explore the city we call home. All of these things make us happy, but they cost time and money and, as such, have bumped the retirement date out a bit.

Our retirement sacrifice might be that we are not sacrificing. But the truth is, these moments are how we want to spend our days after Worklife draws to a close. More moments of exploration, of making our way through menus and wine lists, and more moments spent with sand between our toes. Hopefully, with healthy and happy little ones bouncing along beside us.

Getting there is a challenge. It will take time, and it'll take planning. It will take commitment, sacrifice and smarts. But when the day comes, I'll be over the moon, and I might even move past my fear of Tuesdays.

So that's it. The plan starts today. First step, setting up an achievable and intentional retirement plan with a financial advisor. 

Isabel Crocker, 22

Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast Editor | Retirement looks like: Freedom 

Retirement—that ever-elusive goal we seemingly chase after our entire working lives. And while it has traditionally conjured up images of puttering around the garden and finally booking that cruise you had always talked about, the face of retirement is changing. I certainly think about it—no, dream about it—regularly, but to me, retirement is more about freedom. Financial freedom. Freedom to travel. Freedom to do whatever you damn want.

While it's obvious that planning is necessary to reach that peak state of retirement, I can confirm it's easier said than done. In terms of planning for retirement, mine are minimal. One might even say non-existent. While I have an average financial literacy from my university degree, it certainly hasn't translated into many actionable steps towards retirement. 

I do invest in passive-income ventures, which work well for me by creating future revenue streams with very little work. Increased revenue and reduced work is a combination I'm very happy about. As time goes on, I'm sure I will look more deeply into creating retirement plans, but for now, I'm happy with spending time—and money—on the little things. Wine with friends. Weekend trips. They may not make my non-existent retirement fund happy, but they make my heart full.

When looking forward to retirement, I can see myself travelling extensively overseas with someone I love, spending more time with family and friends and lazy afternoons by the beach with a vino in hand and my dog by my side. 

Whether you’re counting down the days or just starting to plan, there's no doubt the way we think about retirement is shifting. Whatever the stage looks like for you, the legends at AMP are experts in setting you up for retirement success—the earlier you start, the easier it will be. 

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by AMP and endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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