Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Time to Retire “Retirement?”

A friend sent in this question/quandary. Figured I’d put it to the blog readership for input. What would you tell his father?

My dad told me he will retire in Jan. He’s only 59 ½ and would have another 2 ½ years to go at his work place.

He comes from a long line of public servants, was born and raised in a country where “careers” in public office are common, and his hometown basically has two job sectors, public and tourism (which during his life was low paying).

So he’s always been brainwashed into the long, stable career at one place and eventually retiring. From the same culture, retiring is seen as “life is over, now I idly wait for death”. He even brings this up in his email (that retirement does not mean death), so it’s definitely still present in his way of thinking.

I think the word retirement should be banished from the face of the earth. It’s been way too long since my college years of studying Economics, but I know it’s the result of an old system/way of thinking that is just no longer applicable.

The Challenge:

Help me find an alternate word or phrase for this period of life. I’ve always been fond of a period I describe as “Independent with no dependents”, which is usually that moment after college where you have your first job and no worries on your mind.

It’s that entrepreneurial spirit that lets you take risks without care, since you’re in it for the experience and thrills. It seems like “retirement” would be a similar phase.

You’ve done your time, paid your dues to higher ups, presumably saved up and will not worry about bills and finances.

You’re independent – again. You’ve also, in many cases, raised your kids/family and they’re off and on their own.

You’ve got no dependents – again. What a wonderful time to be in – again! Yet “retirement”, yuck.

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