Ageing Baby Boomers in Australia: Informing Actions for Better Retirement

A defining characteristic of present-day Australia is the large number of baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1965 – who are retiring or approaching retirement from paid employment.

Just as the baby boomers’ previous major life events, such as being employed and childbearing, have significantly impacted on Australia’s economy and society, so too will their transition to post-employment life. It is therefore surprising that such little is known about baby boomers and their transition from working life to retirement.

This report fills this research gap by examining the transition from a range of perspectives: the process of retiring and how this impacts on wellbeing and unpaid productivity in retirement, how people prepare for retirement and how this may impact on quality of life, and how retirees experiences compare with workers’ expectation of retirement.

The report also analyses how retirement expectations are shaped by the economic, social and policy context in Australia, and how it compares with the US. 

Notable findings from the report include that good health, economic resources, and personal autonomy are very important in influencing how baby boomers transition, prepare and experience retirement. Further, baby boomers have been shown to be adaptable to challenging and changing economic and social conditions, such as the Global Financial Crisis and increasing longevity. 

This is the final NSPAC report from the Ageing Baby Boomers in Australia (ABBA) project. The ABBA project aims to generate a body of knowledge that informs constructive action for better retirement. It does this by drawing on existing datasets in Australia (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) and the United States of America (Health and Retirement Survey), and by collecting new Australian data on retirement planning and expectations. 

The first report from ABBA, My Generation: Are Australian baby boomers the retiring kind? summarised existing knowledge about the retirement plans and expectations, and the second, Ageing Baby Boomers in Australia: Understanding the effects of the global financial crisis, examined the impact of the global financial crisis on the financial wellbeing of older Australians.

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