Saturday, 28 July 2007

Never Say Retire

I spend much of my waking hours dreaming about retirement. Imagine my shock and dismay to read a recent Sydney Morning Herald article suggesting that I shouldn't retire, and even worse, shouldn't want to! Although the article was based on a premise by someone called David Bogan, so perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt. Just checking the publication date, no it wasn't April first.

This Bogan chap reckons that retirement is unnatural and outmoded. That it was a construct of the depression era 1930s intended to create employment for young workers, and so now that we have an ageing population with no vast numbers of young workers coming along then the old workers should not have to stand aside.

He points out that the people who can truly afford to retire rarely do. It's true if you think about it- the Queen, the Rolling Stones, Warren Buffet are used as examples in the article. "You wouldn't give up your day job for unemployment benefits, or your health for sickness benefit- why would you give up your life for retirement?"

I guess that this presumes that one's job is one's life. It certainly seems that I spend a lifetime at work each day. But is my work my life? I don't think so. I used to enjoy it, can't so much at the moment. But should it be my life? No, I don't think so. Doesn't it contradict the principle that dying people never wished they had spent more time at work?

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