Retirement, it's a terrible word and should be deleted from our vocabularly - why?

An excellent book, 'Avoid retirement and stay alive', written by two kiwis, David Bogan and Keith Davies is a must read for us all.

I guess the philosophy they raise is parallel with my thoughts and writings on this matter.

Let's explore some of the key points they have written and I'll put my rural spin on it.

No-one should feel compelled to retire, nor want to. As farmers, we have the perfect scenario where we own land and can stay involved for as long as we like. It is our society and our Government that plant a retirement viewpoint into everything. "When are you going to retire? When are you going to sell the farm?" People who manage money and investments are also keen for us to retire so they can invest our money, through them, so that they can get a return on our money. Get the point, its all about money.

Retire and get a life, not true either. The notion that life will be wonderful when we retire, not entirely true. Let's look at a typical retired person: -

There is a good chance they may be sitting back reading a book. They may have been a farmer, had a world trip, maybe given their money to someone else to look after, patted the grandkids on the head and are now sitting there waiting to fade away, yeah right.

You've worked all your life and now what are you going to do?

I remember back to my valuing days in Cambridge. I knew a lady who used to send her husband out to their garage each day with a packed lunch. Why?? She had a full and busy life; he had just retired from a department agency. She supposed he was going to be an intrusion, and what would she do with him in the house all day!

Striving to survive appears to be a big issue. If we are striving and busy, we seem to keep on keeping on. We see it constantly in real life. As soon as people lose the will to live or stop striving they often come to the end of their life quickly. How many cases do we hear of where people have worked hard all their lives, only to retire and a few weeks later they have met their demise. Scary stuff. Don't let it happen to you. We need to be retirement busters, don't do it!

You don't need as much money to live when you retire. Not really true either. Are we happy to give up travel, socialising and withdraw to the hearth! If we sell our business or farm, our personal drawings are unlikely to drop substantially. I mean if our drawings are $70,000 per annum when working, superannuation is only about $18,000 per annum per couple over 65, scary! We need to keep our income up as we progress into our twilight years.

We need to realise that we are going to live a lot longer than our predecessors. We have better health and better systems in place to keep us alive. We need to eat realistically, exercise, have regular check-ups and strive to stay alive.

'Stay as fit and healthy as you can, for as long as you can and never, ever give up'.

Anyway the world can't allow people to retire. We are desperately short of solid experienced people to do the work to keep our country going. Just think of how much intellectual property and solid experience is lost when we retire. Don't do it. Adjust the hours you work, take more breaks but just keep on keeping on and strive to be involved.

In summary, retirement is a myth. We should not feel obliged to do so. We should think carefully about what keeps us alive and also what destroys us. We need to realise that we are highly likely to live longer and what are we going to do with ourselves. Sit on the verandah, pat the grandkids on the head and read the paper. Not likely!! Get a life now and plan to live a long time.


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