“Never retire. If you work forever, you can live forever. I know there is an abundance of biological evidence against this theory, but I’m going with it anyway…..If you want to be successful and live a long, stimulating life, keep yourself at risk intellectually all the time.” personal views of Byron Wien, age 81, The Blackstone Advisory Group (investment group).
So who created this idea of retirement? Our ancestors didn’t. Our forefathers didn’t. My parents and grandparents didn’t. Also, who created the age when we would retire? It keeps changing. Is it 65, 55, 50? Is it a goal post to make it as a destination? Do I work with the idea of always planning on retirement, as in “when I retire……?” How much fear have I created for myself by worrying about “my retirement”? Who told you to retire in the first place? What price are we all paying for the sake of retirement?
Give it up. Pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion. It’s something for you to worry over, get fearful over and age yourself. Is your finish line your retirement, travel, volunteer and fade off stage? What if you “lose” it? What if it’s less than planned? Is your only opportunity a greeter at Walmart? A part-time barrister at Starbucks? The word “limited” income is so, well, limiting. But, you say. I am too old to work most jobs, too sick etc. I’ve been turned out to pasture! Here I am now in the field with the other cows and sheep. Waiting for my “early bird” special dinner at Carrow’s. …… “The hard way is always the right way. Never take shortcuts, except when driving home from the Hamptons. Short-cuts can be construed as sloppiness, a career killer.” Byron Wien
Eventually retirement will be a fadeout. We continue with it because we have programmed it for ourselves. It’s going to take some time but just like the scourge of cigarette smoking took about 50 years for it to become extremely unpopular, the scourge of retirement and the pain, anxiety and expense it creates will become extremely unpopular. Begin now, the younger the better, to not plan on ever retiring. Set yourself up with several careers in mind over a long period of time. Change them as need be and invest your money, time and energy into wise projects for yourself.
If you are now “in retirement”, get out of it. Get really relevant. Stretch yourself both intellectually and physically. Be perpetually improving yourself and along the way relieve suffering. “Live like you will die tomorrow but learn like you will live forever.” Ghandi
More power to you and proof that life is the gift. Enjoy it and use it wisely. Thanks so much for inspiring the rest of us.
Hi Gayle: I am still teaching art each week and still play in a 3 piece trio. We entertain OLD people in the Nursing homes and I still garden. Planted a winter garden today.
Carrie Ann, please don’t let your age stop you. I went to work for a school in Japan at age 61. Worked there for 9 years. Please give it a try if that is what you would like to do. I got my info out of the newspaper, but that was some time ago. I’m sure you can find places online. Also, check with the Peace Corps. They have positions for people of all ages. Good luck!
You are absolutely right Gail. It is important to keeping moving, trying and learning. I’ll be 81 in a couple of weeks. I’m still teaching once a week, and I volunteer with a local hospice. I’m also trying to learn the harp. That’s the hard one!
Have a super holiday.
After being pushed out of my job, I remembered I had a teaching certificate I never used. Now I am subbing in the schools. I never thought I would do this. I would love to work at a International School, but I think they won’t take you after age sixty. My health is great by the way. (There’s those limitations again!)
Look at Jerry Brown in his seventies running a state. We need elder wisdom. Sure don’t miss the old job at all.
Thanks for adding it Dawn. I have used it so often that I gave it rest this time.
I quote your words all of the time: “The Soul did not come here to Retire”. I was very surprised not to see that great phrase in this article!