For the past 20 years I have been writing and speaking about the foolish notion of retirement. My old adage is that the Soul
doesn’t come here to retire. It is a man-made construct and gives people the false sense that somehow they can stop working, planning, being productive and creating new careers. The Soul doesn’t come to earth to retire. It has a long blueprint even going out 120 years and some of the most productive years are from 60 onward. Finally, there are some statistics to support this thinking. Not only have we shortened our lives by planning on retirement, getting monies together so we can live on less, or have enough to last as long as we do–or not, heaven forbid; we begin to accept the deterioration of our health as if that should go along with our ideas about retirement.
In today’s Wall St. Journal is the headline “Why So Many U.S. Men Die at Age 62″ Demetria Gallegos. Yep, that goes right along with the magical age when you can begin to collect Social Security. In seems that the National Center for Health Statistics has kept statistics on monthly deaths as men approach and pass age 62. The reason they focus on men is that the escalation is much more dramatic for men than for women. The fatal catalyst, they believe, might be the availability of Social Security.
As people retire, they believe, there is a huge change in people’s lives. It doesn’t just affect your financial health, it also affects the physical and psychological health. A lot happens by age 62. First of all, you have just finished your 2nd Saturn return. This is a tiring and challenging 3 year period for people and begins around 58, sometimes 57, and is usually over by 60 or 61. This is the review of your life over the last 30 years and assessment of what you haven’t and have done. This is usually when people think that the best years are behind them. Their talk is about retirement or how many years before they can retire. Their friends are doing the same thing. There maybe fewer financial resources at this time and one-third (wow) of Americans immediately claim Social Security at 62. 10% of men retire in the month they turn 62.
Even though retirement can bring benefits such as taking better care of your health, in the long run retirement has a negative effect. We stop looking at new careers, we expect to deteriorate as we watch others do the same, we slowly withdraw from the world because there seems to be not much reason to engage. We might be paid a pension so we don’t have to engage in the world as much. We become more sedentary and increase in size. We basically become subsidized into our later years.
Now, pretend that we don’t ever expect to retire. At age 60- to 62 we have new career plans that are just as exciting as when we turned 30. (Remember a Saturn return happens every 30 years and is a review of your life looking back over those years). We took better care of ourselves up to age 60 so we have energy, time and drive to create new opportunities for ourselves. We know ourselves better, we stop doing stupid activities that waste our energy, time and money. We are better with money and we stop worrying about will it last because we know we are resourceful. We stop depending on a pension, Social Security etc. We bank it, give it to charity and continue to go forward and create more prosperity for ourselves. We get our emotional house in order so we don’t develop some of the chronic diseases that come with today’s aging population.
The takeaway from all of this is that retirement may be bad for the health of men, particularly for men who retire at age 62. Woman, who for many have been delayed from entering the work force, do not seem to have the same profile. They do, however, need to have career plans for ages 60 to 90 years of age. All of us need to do this. So if you are cruising around these ages, get a grip on your future. Plan on working into your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It is only when you are in your 90’s should you entertain the thought of retirement. Anyway, our wisdom years are in our 70’s. We get wiser by the time we are in our 80’s.
Some of you may balk at this idea and are worn out and need to retire. Why did you wear out? Assess yourself and your decisions and choose again. The body needs to be relevant here on earth or it will unilaterally make the decision to leave and prepare to do so. If that happens, no matter how much the ego and personality want to stay, the gig if up and ending. Sometimes that is just a short period of time or sometimes over a few years. The body is always listening to what you tell it. Speak to it of dreams, plans and how important it is to you–because it is. Try hanging around here without one.