“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