Retirement uncertainty leaves business owner in limbo

HAVING the security of owning a business has done little to quell the fear John Mack holds for life after retirement.

He has run an engineering products business in Toowoomba for the past 25 years.

At 65, his body is telling him it is time to retire.

Heavy lifting during his 50 years in the workforce has led to two total knee reconstructions, two carpal tunnel surgeries, two stents in his heart and four vertebrae in his back having to be fused.

Despite the pain, he doesn't know if he can leave the workforce.

"I never thought you would feel this vulnerable when you got to this age," Mr Mack said.

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"After you have turned that 60 mark, it is difficult."

He said he wanted to get out of the business and take an age pension. But finding someone who would pay the money he wanted for his business as well as have the ability to continue the technical aspects of his work was difficult.

"I've got a feeling of entitlement to a pension.

"(But) from what I can gather, they would deem the assets of the company to be more than what the pension is worth."

He said 67 was a reasonable age to wait for the pension and couldn't see anything wrong with 70 either.

His concern was the ability of people over 50 to gain employment.

"As soon as you turn 50 that is it.

"The big companies don't want you. You've got no hope of getting back in working for somebody because they don't want you to think, they just want you to do."

He said taking the step into retirement was a difficult decision.

"Well, you get there and you think 'do I really want it'."

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