Saturday, May 13, 2017

I have gone to quite a few retirements lately

I like to say that beginning retirement is the beginning of being independently wealthy.  It can be, but that idea depends on having enough money to be retired without working.  I said that to one retiree recently and got the answer that the couple might be entering poverty.

I guess that people may get jobs, part-time or full-time, after reaching retirement age.  I read a statement by Peter Drucker, the management specialist, that estimated 65 was too young a retirement age for society to survive.  He thought more people would have to work until 70 and that was before the steady decline in the birthrate that the US is experiencing.  

The data I have seen indicates that most people have inadequate savings or other plans for retirement.  To me, the main question is what does a person want to do if not work?  I can certainly understand if "work" means a job or a life that is not satisfactory.  Maybe for some people, an advanced age might be a time when retraining or further education could open doors to a new sort of occupation.  My experience is that few people who have worked their entire adult lives have much of a sense of what life without a job will be like.  "What are you going to do with yourself?" is not a small question and it is not a laughing matter.  

The most common answer I have heard is 'travel'.  Often, travel out of the US is seen as attractive and I can understand that it is something people want, especially if they haven't tried it.  However, there is a limit to the thrill and the danger and discomfort and expense can be a turnoff.

I haven't applied for any jobs and I imagine I am too old for serious consideration for many openings.  But I am tempted to try financial work or more teaching or some data analysis or computing, especially on a part-time basis.

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