Tuesday, May 9, 2017

EARLY RETIREMENT: A PIPE DREAM


Retirement, the end of working life, is a period during which a long term employee ends his career and leaves his job permanently. This individual, the pensioner, lives on a government pension, a regular salary from the government, and spends his time dealing with his hobbies. In a lot of countries there is a compulsory retirement age at which time staff have to retire but this upper limit has been rising steadily in most developed or developing countries. There are various reasons for this current trend, which is now impossible to reverse. The age of early retirement is over as it is damaging to the economy and the individual.

The last thing any government wants is extra expense, which makes early retirement a definite no-no. Pensioners receive a salary from the government which comes out of the budget and has to be paid for by those who are still working, the active work force. Many developed and developing countries are witnessing a drop in the birth rate and a decline in the young population. This means there are fewer people to finance the pensioners. It is for this reason that France for instance has raised the retirement age to 69 despite loud protests. Leaving it at its current level would bankrupt the government. The second factor is longevity: the average lifespan has increased sharply and reached the low eighties. Along with the developments in medical research and preventative care people are healthier and mentally more active than they used to be a century ago. Why waste all this potential? In short, early retirement is not in the government’s interest.

Early retirement is not in the interest of individuals either for two main reasons. First of all, the pensions offered to retirees are far from adequate to live on and enjoy a good quality of life. This being the case, many people who retire from the state sector, seek alternative employment while also receiving their state pensions. This ironical situation should not be allowed to continue. Second of all, many people who retire earlier, like they used to do in France, are perfectly healthy in body and spirit and feel bored or depressed when suddenly left with nothing to do. Early retirement is unsatisfying on an emotional level and a financial level.


To sum up, early retirement presents both the government and the prospective retirees with serious financial problems while also leading to emotional problems in individuals. Early retirement is neither sensible nor practical. Those who wish to spend more time enjoying life while still young on a government pension should make better use of their weekends because that is all they are going to get.

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