Before my Granny turns 90 in a few months' time, she's planning a couple of weeks in Myanmar.

It's a bit of a fiddly trip, not only because of her type 1 diabetes, but because Myanmar's hardly a week on the Gold Coast. But Granny has it sussed. She'll walk, she'll learn, she'll haggle at the markets, and in no time she'll be home to plan her 90th bash.

It's inspiring for those of us 60 years younger to consider her, still engaging with the world.

Granny was in Aleppo only a year or so before civil war kicked off in Syria. China's Silk Road, the Galapagos Islands, Taiwan and Vietnam: you can never be sure from where Granny's next postcard will arrive.

Advertisement

Although not everyone will aspire to globetrotting in their 90s, a successful retirement plan that supplements savings with superannuation allows for the greatest luxury of older age: options.

In considering retirement, most young Kiwis today seem to fit loosely into one of three categories.

One might have robust saving plans and aggressive financial ambitions, aspiring to retirement as early as possible.

Those blessed with either good fortune or smarts might have specific plans for developing property and investment portfolios. A lucky few might even expect to stop working in their 50s, if all goes well. But the second and third categories are a little more over-subscribed.

In the second, young Kiwis earning a reasonable wage and keeping an eye on KiwiSaver know by the time they reach 65 they still might be five or 10 years from receiving superannuation. To set up a comfortable-but-not-flashy retirement, many of us are resigned to the fact superannuation in the future probably won't cover much.

The final category is the one of comparative despair. If you're a young Kiwi on a low income, a decent retirement is a pipe dream. If you can't buy a house, what prospects are there for fun, dignity, and options in older age? Far too many face working till death.

As a workaholic, and son of a workaholic, I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up working myself into the ground. I just hope I can do so out of choice, rather than necessity. Besides, Myanmar sounds nice.