The whole concept of retirement is based on four assumptions. All of them are false. Here they are:
1) Age 65 is old.
2) Leisure is more fulfilling than work.
3) Older people should make room for the next generation
4) People over 65 make worse workers.
All of these may have been true at some point. In the 21st Century, we can now easily see they are all bilge and balderdash.
When enough people get it, retirement may quickly wither on the vine. Boomers can stop racing for an imaginary and illusory finishing line and fully enjoy their lives.
Destroying the Four Assumptions
Assumption 1. “Age 65 is old.”
When President Roosevelt set the US retirement age at 65, the average American lived to 63. Today, Wikipedia tells us:
The life expectancy at birth of the world is 67.2 years … for 2005–2010, according to United Nations World Population Prospects 2006 Revision and 66.57 years … for 2009 according to CIA World Factbook 2009.
Today, the US life expectancy is 78.2, while Canada is 80.7, Japan 82.7.
“Your adult life will be twice as long as you thought it would be. And if you’re in reasonably good health and have good habits, most of this time will be just as productive as earlier years.” –Lydia Bronte, former director of the Carnegie Foundation’s Aging Society.
Assumption 2. “Leisure is more fulfilling than work.”
Can’t you just go golfing? Can’t you just “take it easy?” Ask those who have tried it. When I had my 15 year career as a financial planner, I asked some of my retired clients this question. I vividly remember one retired man who had taken a part time job as a security guard at the Provincial Legislature in Victoria, B.C. When I mentioned that research showed retirement as being more traumatic than divorce or death of a loved one, it was like the dam burst on something he had not been able to share with anyone: “Matti, you have no idea how hard it is.”
“Lots of people find purpose and meaning in work. For many, it’s the reason for getting up in the morning.” –Catherine D. Fryock, co-author of Unretirement.
You probably know people who have become ill right after retirement and some who died. One study shows that almost a third of retirees return to work. Over two thirds of those take a full time job.
Assumption 3: “Older people should make room for the next generation.”
The Baby Bust generation that follows the Baby Boomers are fewer in number. Boomers retiring means fewer productive workers who are withdrawing from the workforce. Production output is produced by people who are working. If we have fewer and fewer workers, what do you think can happen to living standards?
Assumption 4: “People over 65 make worse workers.”
This can be true for physically demanding jobs. In other cases, older workers may well be more productive than younger, less experienced workers.
Even without the aid of the new science of neuroplasticity that shows how we can continue to increase our brain power as we age, studies have shown that age does not affect mental powers until middle to late 70s. And then it is a decrease in short term memory.
Solution? Carry a note book!
Programming people to get out of the work force at 65 when there is some memory loss in the mid to late 70s is like hitting a fly with a sledgehammer. Poor analogy maybe, but you get the idea.
There are a lot of positives that older workers have: fewer mistakes, fewer accidents, lower absenteeism and a stronger work ethic. As an employer, which would you rather have? A young person with lots of energy, bouncing off the walls, but also some “loose cannon” tendencies, or an experienced older person who you only have to ask to carry a notebook to compensate for some short term memory loss?
And why are not employers even asking this question? Could it be the programming is so deeply entrenched in the unconscious that this question would never even come up?
The Myth of Retirement Part Five
Thanks for reading.
Till next time, Happy Trails to You,
Much Joy, Energy, Health and Love,
P.S. Don’t be a hog: Share this information. That is, if you find my “mental meanderings” useful.
If so, send your friends to my site: http://joyenergyandhealth.com/
P.S. #2 Also, don’t be a stranger. Email me or visit on Facebook and share your experiences with this course.
(Facebook name: Matti Anttila. http://www.facebook.com/ )
P.S. #3 These tips may not all be appropriate for you. Use your favourite decision making technique to decide. See tip # 3 for my favourite.
P.S. #4 Thank you. It is an honour and a privilege to explore this adventure with you.
Any and all information provided here is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individuals are advised not to self-medicate in the presence of significant illness. Always consult with your licensed medical practitioner first before undertaking anything…be it supplements, exercise programs or other protocols. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Do not construe the information provided here as authoritative health advice…or authoritative advice of any sort. All information provided or referred-to on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be health, medical, financial, accounting or tax advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. Matti Anttila is not a licensed financial planner, doctor or health practitioner. If you're not inclined to Do-It-Yourself then please, before you Do-It-To-Yourself, obtain professional advice.
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