When you were in school, you were probably told to not believe all you are told, but view source documents. How many followed this advice? I can tell you in my experience few, if any followed the advice. As we age, we have an opportunity to reflect on a great number of issues. As we examine ourselves, we find we believe what we were told and what we have come to believe because of personal experience.
If you are like me, your earliest memories of work probably revolve around household chores or menial tasks, you were told to do. You complied at first because of threat of disapproval or punishment or maybe the offer of a reward. I remind you of this to make the following point. Your first impressions of work were probably not real positive ones.
As you gained experience in the “real world”, the tasks required of you were probably more challenging. Hopefully, your reason for work changed. Now you work and your reasons and rewards gained from work changed. Threat of punishment was no longer a factor nor did promise of reward act as the sole reason for your work. If you were like me, a sense of personal achievement and internal sense of accomplishment replaced prior motivations. You gained a sense of purpose. Your job, while still at times less than pleasant, was self rewarding. Still you waited for the day, when your time could be your own and financial concerns and a “job” didn’t monopolize your day. You were told retirement was the ultimate goal. Free time and opportunity for travel, hobbies and other pleasantries, you set aside would await you. You believe this is a desirable goal because you are feeling burdened by your daily grind and the prospect of more freedom is appealing.
This is the time to remember the words of the school teacher. Examine the source of the belief. The retirement dream was one born in another time, when jobs were unfulfilling and dangerous and relief from the physical grind itself was a reward. We live in a time with different national demographics. Concerns over the sustainability of many social programs, which retirees depend on, are in doubt. What is the answer to these concerns? Examine your beliefs. Is the retirement completely free from purpose even desirable? Perhaps the vast union hoard had the whole concept wrong. Perhaps people need work. Some can fulfill that need through volunteer work or a hobby, but for many nothing replaces work with real remuneration.
Is this to suggest we are all to be subject to endless toil until death? No, but more utilization of the experience of the senior population is sensible and is advantageous to both society and the individual. Our society today is employing more and more part time labor. Doesn’t it make sense that those with experience be utilized and incentivized more in what was formerly full retirement? This type of policy if properly incentivized could ease some of the burden on Social Security and Medicaid and still aid the senior and allow for more freedom in what was otherwise complete retirement.
Some will not want this. I say this is their choice. Examine your choices. Are you acting because you want a life style? If you are, then I say proceed. If, however after reaching the age you find a sense of purpose missing, join with me in requesting a choice in retirement. I think you will find an approach, which eases an individual into a partial work situation to be desirable for you.
Next time: Establishing a website for marketing senior experience. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!