Sometimes referred to as the father of American literature, Mark Twain really hit the nail on the head here – age is most certainly an issue of mind over matter!
Speaking for myself, I feel very little different now to what I did 30 years ago (I need glasses now for reading and, sometimes, for driving if the light’s not good) but I’m probably fitter than I was then (I gave up smoking about then), I remain in excellent health, fortunately, and my mind also appears as it was three decades ago.
And I’m most certainly not alone in this. Whenever I meet people of a similar ‘vintage’ it seems that the vast majority of them feel as I do, and this is further supported by life expectancy figures which show that life expectancy in the West has increased by nearly 20% to 80 years, or more, since many of us were born, and continues to rise.
The old retirement and pension actuarial models were built on the premise of men (then almost always the breadwinners in the West) having a life expectancy of some 68 years, so retiring at the age of 65 seemed appropriate: 3 years of pension funding for the breadwinner and his spouse, with a further up to 10 years for the spouse alone, assuming (and this is all based on the societal norms of the late 40s/early 50s) that she was a few years younger and lived to about 75, as expected.
Of course, nowadays, with men being expected to live until 80+ and women a couple of years longer, the pension funding calculations are problematic, which is why so many countries, particularly those with state pensions, are slowly extending the retirement age.
And this is all good for the economy (later draw-down on pensions, these additional wages circulating, lower medical bills as research into working people of pensionable age show), for business (greater availability of skills, experience and knowledge, better knowledge and skills transfer to the next generation, the reliability, productivity and approach to work of the ‘unretirees’) and for the ‘unretirees’ themselves as research has clearly showed benefits for them in terms of happiness, reduced medical bills, less stress and greater lifespans.
Oh, and for business, another potential benefit is flexibility and cost – many ‘unretirees’ are happy to be flexible about the time they spend working, so you can opt to access their knowledge, skills and experience for, say, 20 hours a week if this is a better fit for both parties.
So, if you’re fit and healthy enough, and want to work past the historic retirement age, you should be able to. It’s good for you, society and business. And, fortunately, businesses are increasingly open to this – although many countries are still a long way behind the USA, where some 32% of those aged 65-69 were already working in 2017, and the numbers are still growing.
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If you’d like to learn more, these related posts might help:
- “The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein
- Unretirement – Overcoming the Skills Shortage with an Untapped Resource
- Why Am I So Busy but Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done?
- Are You Scheduling Me Time Into Your Day?
- 12 Signs You’re Overwhelmed in Your Business
- Looking at Time Differently To Boost Productivity
- NEDs – a Cost-Effective Way to Add Significant Value to Your Business
- How Independent NEDs Can Catapult Growth in a Small Business