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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Jun-Jul
24 | www.probussouthpacific.org CASE STUDY Rhoda Parker, a former School Registrar in the ACT school system, decided to become a marriage celebrant after she retired. “It was something I had always wanted to do,” says Parker. “I had two daughters who married within two months of each other so I knew what the costs were. I had an idea that maybe I could do it more cheaply as a way of helping and giving something back to the community.” It’s a rewarding experience. “It feels great. I always come away from a ceremony on a high. You are a part of something wonderful. There is such a wonderful atmosphere surrounding the day.” Parker says the biggest challenge she faces is making sure all the legal paperwork is in order. “It’s also a challenge to make sure the bride and groom have a ceremony that is unique to them,” she adds, “given that certain things are the same for all ceremonies.” Being a marriage celebrant keeps Parker’s brain active, which she feels is key to a good and long retirement, especially for someone so used to being in the workforce. “So many people are what their job is, and then wake up and there is nothing. You can have a bit of a break and a holiday but can’t do nothing forever. You have to get out there and find something you want to do.” To become a marriage celebrant, candidates may complete Cert IV in Celebrancy by correspondence or face-to- face classes, covering marriage, naming and funerals. The course also includes training on some aspects of small business. With certificate in hand, candidates then apply to the Attorney General’s Department and wait until there is a vacancy. For more information on becoming a marriage celebrant, contact the Attorney- General's Department. W: www.ema.gov.au of employment income per fortnight is disregarded under the income test. This enables up to $250 of employment income each fortnight to be excluded from means testing. Broadly speaking, if a single age pensioner has no other income at all and is not paid under the assets test, they can keep the full pension with employment income of up to $292 a fortnight. They can then earn employment income of up to $1,828.20 in a fortnight before the pension is reduced to zero. An age pensioner couple can earn a combined employment income of $506 per fortnight before their pension is affected, and employment income of $2665.20 per fortnight before the pension is cut out. New legislation will also be in effect from 1 July, which will see an increase in benefits for those who choose to remain in the workforce after retirement (see 'Centrelink changes' page 25). Healthy retirement While financial considerations or ambition drive some decisions to remain active by working, other retirees take the opportunity of having fewer obligations to improve their fitness. Professor Michael Besser, the 2011 NSW Seniors Week Ambassador, took up triathlons in his mid-50s and is planning to complete his first ironman event in December. “I was always interested in keeping fit and, as a neurosurgeon I realised I needed to be fit if I was going to last,” says Besser. But, he explains, he had always been too busy with work to find the time. His wife Anne, who had been participating in triathlons for several years, was his inspiration. “She participated in world championships and had lots of friends. I felt on the outer.” Upon retirement, Besser decided to join in because it was something he and Anne could do together. “There’s the social acceptance you get from mixing with people in the sport, which widens the social aspect of your health,” he explains. “Its great to compete against your peers. I am not a good athlete but it motivates me and gives me a goal to work towards. “Then there is the physical aspect – exercise helps your mind.” COVER STORY I am not a good athlete but it motivates me. Then there is the physical aspect – exercise helps your mind. Prof Michael Besser, NSW Seniors Week Ambassador
Active Retirees Aug-Sept