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Friday, 5 April 2013

Avoid retirement and stay alive.

Definition of retirement:  - to remove from view; withdraw from society.

The title of my post and is the title of a book lent to me by my investment/insurance/retirement annuity broker. I have been dealing with the same broker for more than two decades and on Tuesday took the Italian leprechaun, who had some money to invest, to see him. 

My broker has done very well for himself, and he has clients all over the country, advising people how to make sure that they have enough income when they retire, yet he is totally anti retirement. His argument is that while you still have your wits about you and your health, why sit at home and vegetate. (how much golf can you play!) His other argument is that less than one in five people in this country have enough money to retire comfortably. This is equally true of most of the developed world. Most government sponsored retirement schemes any where in the world are basically bankrupt, so they are no help.

This man has more than enough money to retire but says he enjoys his work so much that there is no point in retire and vegetating. A view of his back garden,(right into the trees) in a suburb of Durban where properties run into millions, not just in local currency, but US $ or any other you care to mention. 

Below are some quotes from this book by David Bogan and Keith Davies.

    Checked your forehead lately?
    See a use by date?
    No? Then why on earth are you worrying about retirement?

    Retirement will last for decades, not a few short years as was once the case.

    Delete 'retirement' from the software of your mind, drag it kicking and screaming to                         the trash.

  The harsh reality is that most people are saving less than 1 percent of their disposable      income. And that's everywhere worldwide.

  Retirement is a modern invention.

   The people who can afford to retire don't, those who can't do.

The last quote is particularly true, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet never talk about what they are going to do when they retire.

"A crucial component of any crises plan is being prepared, and retirement certainly isn't an unpredictable issue. You've known about it for years because you've had a lifetime of programming to volunteer yourself for this crises of your own making". p 14.

  Banish the word 'retirement from your vocabulary.

"There is no greater manifestation of retirement shrink than the final new car. You know the one. That little car that will "see you out".And for goodness sake sake don't go anywhere in that new little car. You never know, it might not 'see you out'.

Sound scary? Can you believe people actually do this to themselves? Well they do - like moths to the flame. The new little car subconsciously becomes a mobile coffin, and every time the proud new owner sits in it, they'll be thinking: 'This is it, my last car ever, I only hope it will see me out.' Is that you? Are you planning to be the proud new owner of a little car to see you out?' pp 32 - 33.

Retirement is a modern concept, the idea that you are now worthless and have nothing more to contribute to life, it's not part of human nature. Work is what we were designed for, not sitting in some retirement village staring at nothing, or worse still the TV.

Pottering about in you workshop doesn't cut it, that's not work. Bluffing yourself that non-stop travelling will give meaning or purpose to you life does not work either. Only work fills that gap, and we willingly agree to declare our selves worthless and retire. (see definition above)


Joel said...

Good post Phillip. I am broadly in agreement. I don't want to "retire". I have spent many years working in nursing/retirement home, sometimes called retirement "villages" What a dreadful corruption of the word village. I dislike the places intensely and see them more like concentration camps for the elderly than happy places to spend your last years on this Earth. You go there to die, and I don't care much what gloss it put on them.

As to work, I agree with this too. Though, I am a bit dubious about the type of work that society appear to think is suitable for elderly people to do: push trolleys in supermarket's car parks?? Stacking shelves? I see myself working for as long as I am physically able to. But I think it will likely be self employement, possibly leatherwork, wood carving, that sort of thing.

So retirement and watching TV? I would have to be pretty crippled to resort to this slow living death!

Jo said...

Amen, Phil. Five years ago, our neighbors (our age) left work, had their pets put down, sold their house and moved into the retirement village in town. He had worked at a farming company outside town; she was assistant magistrate/tax consultant at the local court house. When we meet them in the cafe or street these days, they look at us blankly, with rheumy eyes and all we do now, is pass the time of day. No other conversation is possible. And this with a couple with whom we used to lean over the fence and talk for hours or spend evenings braaiing and chatting up a storm. I rest my case. There is no such thing as retirement in our heads, in the software of our minds and in our household vocabulary. And Praise God were still blessed with energy and good health and work, albeit in outer Africa. Ha! Love Jo

Mark Kautz-Shoreman said...

Hi Phillip. I retired in 2006 after 30 years in warehouse management and 10 years in a financial institution. Now I'm on my third career, writing and I'm busier then ever. Full steam ahead.

Gorges Smythe said...

The Bible doesn't mention retirement!

Joyful said...

I agree with saying "no" to retirement. But working doesn't always mean paid work. For now I've retired from paid work but am keeping super busy on unpaid activities. I hope to do so for many more years.