'Reinvention' spurs retirees to stay active after work

15 Jan 2014

  • East Torrens Messenger
  • Eastern Courier Messenger


Retirees Wally and Joan Skibneff show no signs of slowing down.

The Glynde couple are part of a new generation of retirees who refuse to settle into their armchairs as they get older.

Mr Skibneff, 87, works in administration for the ACH Group, a not-for-profit organisation offering aged and veteran care around Adelaide, for two and a half days a week.

His wife, 77, is learning to sing and organises the local choir group.

"In the early days, people retired in their 60s and a few years later we would be standing in the cemetry, saying 'gee wasn't he a good fellow'," Mr Skibneff said.

"But that doesn't happen these days."

Mike Rungie, who won a Churchill Fellowship to research life after retirement, said the Skibneffs were shining examples of the reinvention movement.

The Goodwood resident travelled to the UK, Ireland and US to research how retirees were creating new lives.

"I think people in their 70s, 80s and 90s are thinking of themselves in terms of who they are, not how old they are." Mr Rungie said.

"They're like teenagers who have finished school.

"They take gap years, travel and start jobs."

Mr Skibneff was an accountant in Clare until the State Bank collapse.

Applications for the 2014 Churchill Felowships, allowing overseas travel to conduct research, are open until 19 February.

'Reinvention' spurs retirees to stay active after work
Retirees Wally and Joan Skibneff with Mike Rungie

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