Should we be retiring at 65?
This writer believes that the traditional retirement age of 65 should be scrapped, but that’s a whole different debate. And one that we should have in this country, especially as the UK has led the way in recently announcing an end to the Default Retirement Age. I say – ban that ageist attitude! 65 is no longer the onset of old age – it is the beginning of middle age. 65 is the new “55″ or younger.
Boomers are beginning to realise the importance of health, nutrition and an active, productive lifestyle which could stretch way beyond 65. It is important to keep your brain challenged and stimulated as you climb the age ladder, but the best way to keep the brain active and engaged is probably to avoid retirement at all costs. We need to change our mindset and rethink retirement – maybe it should become a gradual process, rather than a sudden once-off event.
Work is not as fulfilling as leisure
It’s probably every working person’s fantasy to say “ciao” to the daily grind. After all, doesn’t travelling the world, in the prime of our lives, to far-away and exotic places sound magical? Research shows that 50% of workers plan to retire before they are 60. But the harsh reality is – taking early retirement is easy, but making your money last seems almost impossible. And in many cases, leaving the world of work can cause you to become ill, both physically and psychologically. What’s the answer? Experts suggest that you either follow your passion, and find work that you truly enjoy and find fulfilling. Alternatively, try and shift your lifestyle to a mix of work and play. Employers should embrace the chance to employ older workers in flexible work opportunities. It would be a win-win situation all round.
Make room for the next generation
The truth is, there will be major shockwaves, when the first of the baby boomers start retiring this year. Today, there are fewer skilled workers entering the workplace than leaving. There is going to be a huge loss of knowledge, talent, experience, energy and skills, and employers are going to scramble to think of innovative ways to entice their older workers to stay on. Working longer will improve the economy, as older folk will be better able to support themselves in later life.
Young people are better workers than their elders
It’s a known fact that the older generation are productive, make great mentors, are seldom absent from their job, have an outstanding work ethic and have the relevant wisdom, skills and knowledge. Baby boomers have unparalleled knowledge, experience, creativity and business acumen, as well as empathy and patience and are willing to give maximum effort and share their wealth of accumulated knowledge and experience. Young people possess impressive technological know-how. Cross-generational mentoring provides one of the most significant ways of integrating these diverse abilities, and unique satisfaction can be found in nurturing these synergistic relationships.
My expenses will diminish after I retire
Yes, and no. Some expenses will decline and hopefully cease altogether. You won’t have to drive to work, you won’t need as many clothes, you won’t have to pay into a retirement fund. But medical costs could cost you far more as you get older, as it is likely you will have additional health care costs. And the big no-no – don’t allow those adult children to return home for support! Change the locks, or downsize and move house! And as my godfather says, don’t leave a forwarding address!