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The Pros and Cons of Retirement

Across much of the Western World the idea of retiring at 60 or 65 is coming to an end. Just as education has been redefined into life long learning so life long working is becoming the status quo.

When society established the arbitory retirement age, life expectancy in the developed world was 70 to 75 years and pensions were designed to reflect this fact. Women born in the twenty twenties will expect to live to 100 or more and men won’t be far behind them. In this post I want to examine the pros and cons of retirement as a modern issue.

The Economy.

Life expectancy and the exponential rise in global prices such as health care is forcing individuals to keep working to afford any type of sustainable lifestyle. Their pension will need to be topped up as most haven’t made sufficient financial provision for old age.

Paid work will become a necessity until ill health or death prevents further activity. However the changing nature of work will allow for ever more flexible working models. Working part time and on line offers masses of opportunities for financial advancement in old age. Working hours can be reduced gradually without resorting to full retirement.


Working itself can lead to a longer and fitter life. The maxim ” having a need to get up in the morning ” does wonders for keeping the person going. It provides financial stability which reduces stress and often provides social interaction which is essential for mental health. I have often wondered if we were created to work until we drop and retirement is a modern concept. Nature has not given us an answer but the total lack of sound financial education in schools will leave most struggling in retirement.


The demographics of the work place especially when it comes to mortgages is that both parents need to work to ensure bill payment and the reduction of debt. Grand parents are used to care for offspring while the parents are working. They would not have the time energy or ability to look after their grandchildren if they too were employed.

The community in many societies depends on an army of volunteers and fundraisers to support statutory providers through charities to bridge the funding gap. Many of these supporters are retired from their career

Others issues include that many employees hated their work are for many reasons unable to retrain or find alternative employment in old age. Another case refers to the term ” dead mans shoes” where senior positions are deprived of capable up and coming employees taking on responsible positions as the place if filled by someone who should have retired.

This can be balanced by the fact that older people have a lifetime of experience which would be a benefit to the employer or customer . Self employment fits neatly into this idea as they are not directly depriving other of work .

Regardless of our views the fact remains we are all going to work for longer to provide for ourselves our families and the state ( Through tax ) and full retirement will become a thing of the past.

Peter (Author of the Get In Touch Series )

Published inIdeas Worth Consideration.