Monday, February 26, 2018

#Careers. Can we afford to let someone retire??

Time to reflect if retirement is a myth!!

CREDIT: Getty Images

  • When the retirement age of 60/65 was mooted back in the 1950s or so, the average life expectancy was 61! Today average life expectancy is just under 80 years.
  • In fact, the percent of the workforce representing workers over 60 has doubled since 1992. We are heading for a economic disaster by ignoring the implications of increased life and work-life expectancy.
"Advances in longevity are making supporting retirement for another 20 to 30 years impossible for 90% of all workers."
A recent Guardian article about research on aging and retirement cast an interesting light on the topic.  Healthy retirees who worked a year longer (over the age of 65) had an 11% lower all-cause mortality risk. Even the unhealthy group reduced their likelihood of dying by 9% if they delayed retirement." An analysis on the study was also published in the Harvard Business Review.
And think of it - there is certainly some evidence that working longer, especially at something you love to do, contributes to a sense of well-being and purpose that may increase longevity and certainly the quality of your life.

Time to change the way we look ?

- Retirement was seen as a release from bondage--the liberating act from a lifetime of work. They were built for time when most work was manual, labor intensive, when brains were less valuable than brawn. In a world where knowledge is the universal currency for creating value, can we convert the experience of a lifetime - differently?

- With tenures in employment reducing, increasing technology to help automate the mundane and the routine, perhaps there is a case in leveraging remote working, part -time work, telecommuting? Add to the wealth of experience someone in the 60+ age brings, it could even help orchestrate a network of freelancers, and outsourced workers -perhaps  today one can achieve in 20 hours a week -than 40 earlier?

-Focus on the quality of the work, rather the quantity? Encourage more sabbaticals? More collaborative efforts in the gig economy? While the millenials can be depended on creativity and short term projects, do we see the retired folks complementing?

- Would we see 'retired ' employees as part of the Diversity & Inclusiveness policies of organisations soon? 

Well, seems like exciting times. And yes -the caveat? One needs to be constantly learning, unlearning, and re-learning.

Or am I missing something? Will love your inputs..

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