What's my best options ?

I'm 59 yo , got knocked out of my work 2 years ago due to a health issue , I was in construction of 30 years  .  I took break to get well but I cannot go back to my old work ( time for change ) I didn't think it would be that hard to get work but I soon found out at 59 yo it is !! 

Now been diagnosed with prostate cancer low grade on watch & see program .

Ive finally got a job but  its very low $  and its very physical and I dont see how I can do it for much longer  for both reasons .

Ive travelled a bit in SE Asia and love it .

I'm single , no debt  and assets of around 1.2 - 1.4 mill , very little super .

Was on Newstart for 6 months & cannot survive on that .

Only options I can see are 

Try & find another job but will be on the same low $ I feel ?

Downsize the house invest more $$  try & find another job , semi retire .

Rent current property out & move to a cheaper country like Vietnam & retire if possible ?

Sell up & move OS & retire . 

Cannot get the age pesion till 67 yo 

Not sure if I have anough $ ? Thoughts ?? 

Interests are motorcycling , hiking , gym & camping .


you are going to discover you are not Robinson Crusoe but that won't make your decision any easier. I have several friends and relatives who are or have been in a similar situation. Among them they have explored most of the options you mention.  None of them are openly expressing regrets about their decisions. All have been reminded that nobody is special and promised tomorrow so they have learned to appreciate what they have. On the plus side with more than a mil in assets you have more than one option to choose. 

- inlaws semi-retired at 63, rented family home to adult child but kept a room, bought a $180k motorhome and travel 3 months at time, volunteer on newstart three months at a time with Ronald McDonald House ... loving it, will travel full time after qualifying for pension next year at 66

- a cousin retired to Thailand and lived the expat life ... loved it, recently died aged 77

- a friend planned to retire to Thailand and was building a house in Phuket ... diagnosed with cancer and died aged 56 before it happened for him

- a friend could not find work for three years, not eligible for Newstart so downsized to regional town and now running down savings aiming to hit the sweet spot at age 67 ... loving it, wished he had done it sooner

- a friend sold up in the city at 60 and now running a B&B on acreage near regional city ... she is engaged in local community and loving it

- a friend sold up in the city, bought a home in one of the RV parks, bought a caravan (already had a 4x4 ute) and put the rest in super while he is camping his way around the country doing the odd cash job

- a long term unemployed friend talked endlessly about travelling ... procrastinated too long, diagnosed with bowel cancer before he left and died five months later aged 59

- a long term unemployed friend (aged 60) recently received payout for workers comp and retired ... owns a house in western burbs, bought a caravan in the country and is spending rest of money on travel with trips planned through to 2021. Plans to access full pension when eligible.

- retrenched inlaws renovated and flipped houses in ACT  ... retiring next year to golf course in northern NSW 

- inlaws sold up in NT, bought home in Townsville to rent, bought camper trailer, topped up super and intend to stay on the road for six years or while health permits. Has a service pension and qualifies for age pension this year.

Think carefully about what you want and research it thoroughly. If I was in your circumstances then I would likely purchase a residence in a regional centre that offers good investment potential and tip the rest into super. I would then set aside the  asset threshold to qualify for full pension and buy an account based pension when I turn 60 to take me through to 67.

Good luck with your decision.


Thanks for the reply .

Farside put up a very comprehensive reponse

My biggest concern seems to be the continuously changing of the goal-post on superannuation and retirement

....hence it is not an easy decision to make.


I have been holidaying, notice I said holidaying and not the word living, using either can have serious consequences with Satanlink.

How can I communicate with you directly?

I lived o/s in Asia for 10 years, got homesick and back in Oz struggling but happy to be back here.

Getting harder o/s also m, Vietnam but no real retirement visa there, rather costly for month to month but still much cheaper than here. Da Nang or other beach areas best. Hope this helps. 

Make sure you do your research well if you are thinking about going to Asia. For one thing visiting as a holiday maker is very different to living there permanently. Consider things such as health care, insurance affordability, getting the correct visa, etc its not just about food and rental values.

You have very significant assets so get some good financial advice about your options. You could affford to stay in Australia but perhaps consider a different area - maybe more regional centres that would be cheaper to buy property in than say Sydney or Melbourne. Also consider training as a teacher for TAFE or other colleges. You have skills you can pass on even if you can't actually do the job yourself. 

You are in a far better situation than many and still have options open to you. Even a job at Bunnings (they like older staff with trades experience) may be suitable for example i.e. less strenuous but still using your skills to advise people. You just need to think more laterally and understand the skills you have that can be transfered to new avenues.


Thanks for the Reply's .

I will stick to  my current plan & continue getting my house ready for renting , getting all the maintanence up the scratch so If I decide when the time is right I could rent it out & move to either a another location in Oz or abroad .

One of the problems Ive found getting work is Ive been self employed for over 30 years and the larger companys have told me they don't like that as I cannot demonstrate working under someone . Crazy I know as Ive been a boss for all that time . Another thing thats frustrating is the whole process of getting work has changed , been dealing with a lot of recruitment agency's isn't all that easy .

Maybe one option is to downsize , travel a few months of the year & try to pick up work while back home .

If I can't find other or more work I may have no choice but to start working for myself again or buy myself a job which I really didn't want to do but there again probally make more $$ than I do now ! 

They tell me its not easy getting a job at Bunnings now .

Ive made a few expat contacts in Asia ,  one passed  away over there & another is going through cancer overe there. 

Yes I have to be carefull as if I sell up Melb I know there's no turning back its too expensive to buy back inn but there again Im not coming back to Melb I'm over it . 



Good decision. Selling up in Melb and accept not going back gives you max flexibility. FWIW I sold in Melbourne and downsized to regional Vic and effectively early retirement. If something interesting comes up I will look at it but I have accepted my retirement years will not be as flush as I might have anticipated a decade ago.

I think you need to consider your health first, look at increasing good food in your diet, some light exercise and not stressing. Celery juice on an empty stomach every morning will give you a good kick to beat your health issues. Renting your house out sounds like a good idea until you decide to sell it when you need to, in the meantime consider selling everything you do not need to boost your savings, collectables sell well on ebay for example, get a motorhome and enjoy your life before its too late to. If you have skills or a trade they will be sort after by other nomads willing to pay you with either money, food or good company.


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