Do you really have to retire from working?

We should stop encouraging retirement and instead help people find meaningful work for their senior years

Many people aren’t saving enough to retire comfortably. Those in informal sector believe retirement is for those who are in formal employment. Are folks setting themselves up for deep depression when they realize they will have to work long past age 65?

If you are able to work past that age, don’t stop working at all. We should stop encouraging retirement and instead help people find meaningful work for their senior years.

I  wish to see those at 60 begin to think about the next phase of their productive life. By the time they sell or step aside or ‘retire’, they should have a pretty clear vision and plan for fulfilling the psychological necessities that all of us gain from work – a sense of having an impact, making a contribution, being connected and being creative.

The words ‘retire’ and retirement derived from the French, ‘retired’, meaning to withdraw, according to Prudy Gourguechon, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

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“The common definition of retirement today is to leave your job and stop working. Words shape our vision and thinking. As long as we keep using the word retirement or any derivative such as the new retirement, ‘that whiff of withdrawal, of closure, of endings will linger. I want to get rid of the word altogether.

Many of us have got this idea that retirement is all about attaining the age of 65 years, but each person needs to understand the challenges and opportunities of this new phase of life: “ageing “in order to live with energy, creativity and fulfillment.

Others would also say retirement is that time you stop working and hopefully enjoy yourself – travel, play golf, hop onto RV and pursue hobbies. You will never understand what it entails until ageing and old times catch up with you.

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Japan’s Okinawa Pasricha says that, “while we think of retirement as the golden age of golf greens and cottage docks, guess what they call retirement in Okinawa? They don’t .They don’t even have a word for it. Literally nothing in their language describes the concept of stopping work completely. Instead, one of the healthiest societies in the world has the word ikigai (pronounced as icky-guy) which roughly translates to the reason you wake up in the morning. It’s the thing that drives you worst.”

Maybe we were not meant to retire from work. If you’re already struggling to pay bills and your career is sitting on tectonic plates that are threatening to shift below the labour market, my recommendation is to dig deep into your natural passions to find a second act that aligns with your values.

“We know there are far more problems and opportunities on this spinning planet than there are people to help with them, so go solve some.” Pastricha says.

READ: HOW TO BECOME AN OLD DOG AND LEARN NEW TRICKS

Truth be told, if we accept that retirement isn’t a good thing, there’s less pressure to save the millions those crazy retirement calculators say we need to retire fiscally sound.

Finally, never say that retirement is just stopping to work and sleep. But one thing we should accept is a person who has spent four decades engaged in highly stimulating, intense work with great responsibility and some power is not going to give up stimulation, responsibility or the power to affect the world.

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