1. The word is confusing. With definitions as varied as “the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work” through “the action or fact of ceasing to play a sport competitively” to “seclusion: a secluded or private place: retreat, solitude, loneliness, isolation, privacy, obscurity”.
It means something different to everyone. And now there are retirees, un-retirees, semi-retirees and nevertirees!
2. The word retirement implies the end. Whereas it’s a new beginning.
3. Arbitrary “retirement ages” are meaningless. For example, for a man it is often older than for a woman. How illogical! Women have generally contributed less into a fund (not a criticism as they took responsibility for bearing and raising a family) but they live longer.
4. Retirement a growing problem - a tsunami. Every day tens of thousands of baby boomers reach some arbitrary “retirement” age. Their entitlement and expectation switches are sparked. Making growing demands on fast disappearing retirement funds.
5. The enforcement of the arbitrary age often results in retirees eking out an existence with inadequate funds.
6. Many people are forced from their job and have to create a new source of income.
7. “Early retirement” is seen by many as a badge of honor.
Why? Is our only reason for existence to raise enough money so that we can live out our life doing nothing? Also many of these badge wearers merely change their source of income.
8. People announce with a sense of pride that they are retired.
Why the sense of pride when all you’ve reached is a prescribed arbitrary age? An age that has been manipulated and abused by governments and corporations in the past to meet their own objectives.
9. Retirement benefits were a negotiating ploy used in the past by businesses to manage (reduce?) wage demands. The consequences are now coming home to roost as more and more funds realise they are under funded.
10. The concept of a traditional retirement based on a defined benefit pension is at deaths door. Apart from state and government employees there are very few defined benefit schemes left.
11. Defined benefit schemes have been turned into defined contribution schemes. So simply, what you put in you get out. When your money runs out … it runs out. There won’t be anyone to bail you out.
12. Projected returns were grossly overestimated and many retirement funds will not meet their obligations. Members are not aware, or don’t want to be aware … the well-known ostrich effect … that their “retirement” could turn from a dream to a nightmare.
13. The word retirement is so confusing that it causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
14. There are too many unknowns in the future and too many people are not prepared.
15. Life after the retirement age can be more than half as long as a working lifetime. Work from 20 to 65 = 45 years. Retire at 65 and live to 90 = 25 years. And every year average lifespans are increasing!
So much to see and do so little time! Following a dream. Who knows where it’ll end? Passionate about learning, about embracing the changing world, adventurous, skeptical but optimistic. My glass is half full and I’m grateful for my life.