We’ve never been happy with the ‘thought leader’ construction – the concept makes sense, we just don’t like the jargon.
A clumsy descriptor in our minds, we know one when we see ‘em: Carl Richards, a certified financial planner, frequent columnist and regular over at the New York Times. He speaks, people listen, so hear what he has to say about retirement.
“The concept… the very idea… of retirement is dumb. Waiting until some arbitrary age to enjoy life PLUS stopping all meaningful work all at once… DUMB. I will never retire. I will just do more of that stuff I like, and less and less of the stuff I don’t.” We don’t think the idea of retirement is dumb – a rather ham-fisted word – but he certainly has a point.
Here’s how we read it: there’s no reason to limit yourself to a stereotyped notion of living. School, work, retire, expire – it’s all too neat (the final part is just that, we concede). Is there a better way to live – one that doesn’t call for postponing your dreams to age 65 or so?
A member of our team has a sister who is a healthcare provider to senior patients, many of whom are quite wealthy. Again and again, she hears their lament: I worked like a slave all through my youth and middle age, putting off the fun for retirement. Now, I’m too sick to enjoy myself. Live while you can, they counsel.
One intriguing possibility involves working less frantically during your prime career years, while remaining active after nominal retirement. The retirement age of 65 was conceived in a time of shorter life expectancies. Nowadays, there’s no reason not to consider working part time, staying vital and engaged in life while earning a nice income, and leaving plenty of time for leisure.
For more information, please read:
Get Busy Living, Or Get Busy Dying | A Teachable Moment