Front photo: Ahmet Kurt

Is A Gap Year Before Retirement A Dream?

If you could, would you take a ‘Gap Year’ before retiring?  This may be a dream of many people, but also a very tempting one – if it could be organised.

Some people are now considering the idea of taking a ‘Gap Year’ before retiring. A Gap Year, which is typically thought of as a year off before university, can be a life-changing event for people who are close to retiring.

What are some of the advantages of taking a year off before retiring and how it could it improve the retirement experience?

New Passions and Hobbies Could Be Discovered

 There would be more time to discover new activities. This can lead to new interests that may enrich retirement, whether it’s creating, taking up an instrument, or playing sport.

A bike on a deck overlooking a pond. gap year before retirement
Photo: Dominia Roseclay


Could taking a year off help build stronger bonds with those close friends and family? Ties may be strengthened by spending quality time with them. A Gap Year gives the chance to enjoy spending more time with various people.

A toy VW orange car on a road with red and yellow suitcases secured on the roof. There is a blue and white checked strip around the car.
trqvel in a gap year before retirement
Photo: Nubia Navarro

Travel And Adventure

A lot of retirees have a long list of places they’ve always wanted to go. A Gap Year may be the ideal time to discover new cultures, travel to far-off places, and engage in a variety of activities. Travelling at this time can enable enjoyment and discovery.  

What’s The Plan?

A year off before retirement can be used to look at goals.

What’s the plan? Will full or part time work be a part of the next life?  Will volunteering be a part of the next life?  Think about the professionals that can assist. Such as financial and other planning people.

A man facing away with his arms outstretched looking over a green field with the sun setting. He is wearing an olive green polo shirt.
A bike on a deck overlooking a pond. gap year before retirement
Photo: Tobi

Health and Well-Being

Enhance Your Health and Well-Being: A Gap Year may assist in establishing healthy habits and engaging in more exercise. Joining a different leisure or sporting club or activity can mean meeting new people and learning new activities.

A Gap Year assists in making the shift from a regimented work environment to a more flexible environment of retirement. It’s another transition and such a year can help emotionally and physically.

A Gap Year before to retirement ultimately provides the opportunity for personal growth. It could be a time to take on new challenges and lead to a more rewarding and purposeful retirement.  

Before retiring, taking a year off may be a great experience. It grants the freedom to pursue new interests, develop relationships, go on trips, and consider the ‘next life’.

I wonder if it will ever become a reality for many people?

Jill Weeks has been an educator and author for many years. She is the author of 21 Ways To Retire, which gives insights into how 21 Australians from different backgrounds adjusted to retirementShe is also the co-author with her husband, Owen, of several editions of Where To Retire In Australia and one of Retire Bizzi.

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