Watching TV, I’ve noticed that second to Lawyers trying to get you to sue someone, retirement investment companies are the largest advertisers.
“WILL YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY WHEN YOU RETIRE????”
The commercials are constant. Investments, Medicare insurance, and on and on. I’m not even counting the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials. That’s just about getting older, not retirement. It’s all about these Baby Boomers (yes, I’m one of them) getting close to “RETIREMENT” age.
My question is, “Why are people spending so much time looking forward to retirement?
Let’s look at some facts. If you live to 78.7 years, you will live 689,412 hours. If you work from age 20 to age 85 you will work 13% of your life. If you take out 18 years for school it is 17% of your life spent working. (That is based on 40 hours a week and 2 weeks vacation per year). 17% of your life at work. Okay, that’s significant. Maybe you should look forward to retirement.
And doing WHAT?
I will be 54 this year. Closing in on the big 65. I should be really focused on retirement. I’m not. Have too much work to do. I don’t think I can accomplish everything by then.
Let’s look at “work”
There is that getting out of bed at a certain time. That is always fun, BUT what would you do sleep all day? The average person will sleep 229,961 hours, 33% of their lives. Isn’t that enough?Probably end up waking at the same time you did. You are used to it after doing it for 47 years. So that’s no biggie.
What about stimulating the mind? I’m sharpest when I’m at work. I solve problems. I think. I’m engaged. What problems am I going to solve when I retire? The crossword? I believe people must utilize their brain to keep it healthy. Solving problems and accomplishing tasks make me feel alive and valued. Retired, I could find things to challenge me but I would need to look for them. At work it is part of my daily routine.
What about the social aspect. My closest friends are co-workers. They are the ones I share the stories about my kids and what happened on Chicago Fire last night with. They are the ones that come up and ask if something is wrong. Outside of my family, they are the ones that come up and wish me a happy birthday. My friends are at work. Many of them are younger than me and will not being looking at retirement at the same time. You say you’ll stay in touch but when you retire, you begin to lose common interest. They go to work everyday. Your worlds drift apart. That is not to say you do not have friends outside of work. Do you want to lose touch with all of your friends at work? I don’t
“Well there is that thing about bosses and someone telling you what you are to do. “I will be my own boss and do whatever I want to do now”. You really believe that? Do whatever you want to do. So what do you want to do? Some have hobbies they can throw themselves into but others haven’t a clue. I can think of several things I would like to do but I can assure you that no retirement planning would generate enough money to support them.
Then there is the whole money thing. Now if we followed a rigid program from the year we started working we MIGHT have enough money to comfortably retire. IF! Few follow through on this one. Many will be able to provide for their needs but not the lifestyle they had when working. Most will often repeat, “We’re retired now and have to watch our money”. I don’t want to change my lifestyle. I can’t afford “IT” now, I don’t want that to get worse.
I know I am blessed with a great job and it is not physical in nature. That aspect is different. My grandfather was an auto mechanic all his life. When 65 came around the arthritis and years of physical strain had taken their toll. His body was ready to retire and escape the daily physical exertion. I can’t argue with that. I already have aches, pains and other quirks that I face. It’s called getting older. If I was in a physical job, I might not feel the way I do about retirement.
So what does it all come down to. I LIKE MY JOB. I DON’T WANT TO RETIRE. I am my best at work with people I care about. I am the most alive and challenged there. I feel sorry for people who don’t feel as I do. I can’t imagine spending 13% of my life at something I constantly look forward to leaving. I have had three jobs in my life (hopefully wont need a fourth one). The first one I started at age 13 and worked at for 4 years. I was a kid and they trusted me and gave me responsibilities. They gave me MONEY to buy a car and guitars. Money to do things and go out on dates. WOW! That was great. At 17 I went to work for Walgreens and stayed for 31 years. 31 years. I still have some of my best friends there. I learned skills and lessons that will stay with me for life. And oh yea, they paid me to. They paid me so I could raise and support my four kids, buy a house, cars, groceries and much more. I left Walgreens for current job at Ebsco. I’ve been there four years. I usually wake up early and can’t wait to get to work. I have several friends there and have fun working with them. I never believed there was a better job than at Walgreens but I found it. Three different jobs all with the same result, I liked working there. Maybe the common factor is me.
The 13% of my life (and mine is way over 13%) I spend working is some of the best times I have. There is no reason to look forward to retirement. I’m staying as long as they will have me. I am at my best at work and do not want to leave. I know some that really enjoy retirement. My father is very content and happy. He seems to be busier than ever and I can’t say he disliked working. BUT for me, work is where I want to be. I think part of it is an attitude. I hope others share my attitude about work, that it is fun. If you do, retirement will not be something to look forward to.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I brought some work home that I WANT to do.