5 Reasons you should not Retire

you should not retireAre you waiting for the day when you will retire and relax and spend time with near and dear ones? But have you thought of life after retirement from all aspects? When you scale the peak of a mountain, your climb is not finished. You have to climb down. Similarly you have to live through retirement. It is not a destination, but a point from where a new journey begins.

Many sportspersons like Michael Schumacher and Shane Warne came back to competitive sports after retirement. Ronald Reagan the former president of the United States said “Two weeks ago I went into retirement. Am I glad that’s over! I just didn’t like it. Took away all the fun out of Saturdays”.

That might be the case for many of us. Here are some reasons that might make you think twice about retirement:-

1. Longevity –The average lifespan of the Indian has increased. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the average life expectancy of Indians in 2013 is 70 years and this is expected to rise. As quality of life becomes better and with advances in medical technology, there is a high chance that you may outlive your retirement savings. Medical costs are also rising. With age, this is an important component of your expenses. With increasing age and rising medical costs, it is better to work for more time and earn more to get the benefits of higher savings and investments. (I recently read “40 per cent elderly work for a living in Maharashtra”)

2. Work adds meaning to your life – You get the Monday morning blues when you have to get up and go to work. But then at the end of the day, you feel a sense of achievement. You will be a little lost if you did not have to go to office, meet your colleagues/employees and do something substantial. If you are healthy enough to work, have a meaningful work life where you contribute to your organization significantly, it makes sense to continue.

You might have a well-planned second career in place waiting to take off after your retirement from the current job/business.

You can also transform your hobby or an old passion into a full-fledged career. For example, my neighbour retired as a highly ranked executive from a bank. He returned to photography, his first love. He sharpened his skills, attended workshops and now travels worldwide for photography assignments. He earns more than what he used to when he had a full-time career.

3. Improve your lifestyle – If you have your financial plan in place and executed it properly, you might pay off all your liabilities before your planned retirement. You can now think of improving your lifestyle. Maybe your family wants to live in a bigger house or go for exotic vacations. You might have nurtured some dreams of living a better life that got lost along the way. Then you should not retire, but aim to for such lifestyle improvements.

4. Society needs your skills –You earn more if you don’t retire. But society also benefits from you being in the workforce. You contribute to the organization you work with and to the country’s GDP as well. After all every penny counts. You can take up activities like teaching the less privileged, coaching children etc. that will also pay you albeit lesser than what you used to earn.

5. Family and Social Life – In earlier times, when a person retired, there was a large family and he/she was never short of conversations and companions. Today most families are nuclear households and children go away to pursue their dreams. You should give a thought to what you would do the entire day. It will not help if you meddle into your spouse’s everyday affairs. Do you have a social life so that you do not get bored at home? Most people have colleagues as friends and spend the entire weekday with them. But just like, there is no contact with them over the weekends, once you retire you may not have anything common with them and realise that you have no friends to socialize with.

My uncle had an active life when he was working. Once he retired, he was at a loss as to what to do and became dull and depressed.

Maybe you like the rush of getting up early and going to work and facing challenges. If that is what keeps you going, you should not think about retiring early. But that doesn’t mean you should not plan for it – read: Is Rs 1 Crore enough to retire?

Retirement is a process for which one has to have a proper approach and plan from all aspects. If you are a person who has opportunities for self-growth even at the retirement age and feel complete only if you are earning money or are occupied doing something substantial, do not hang up your boots.

I will love to hear your views on this subject.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Jayanth February 20, 2014, 12:18 PM

    Hi ,
    I think you have hit the nail here , as to the things to be done after retirement .. As everything the concept of retirement also has undergone a sea change .. U just cannot go off into the sunset , without a care in the world .. My 2c is that having alternate hobby /career is very important right from 40s .. esp for men .. somehow the women seem to be busy with various things even after retirement!! ..
    Another thing is to keep spending much lower than what U can in any circumstance .. that will give allow folks to retire/semi-retire, get back to lower paying but more enjoyable work etc ..

  • Debasish Paul February 20, 2014, 12:31 PM

    Dear Hemant,

    Really Impressed. Without proper plan after retirement life will become ruined. Thanks a lot. Very relevant subject.

  • Aravinda Lochanan February 20, 2014, 12:59 PM

    This article gives a good insight on why one should keep the mind and body at work, post retirement.

    We should not forget that not everyone nearing retirement keeps good health. They continue to work despite their condition to achieve their goals. Naturally, such people look forward to slowing down post retirement. Good health is the key to post retirement life.

    I’d also like to know, how easily the experienced retirees are accepted in the working world as contributors, while employable youths are still struggling their way up.

  • Amit February 20, 2014, 2:15 PM

    Hi Dear Hemant,

    Amazing topic for discussion and nicely summarised. Also 1 strong reason which i had read in a book that people want to retire is only if they are doing some work which is not making them happy. If you are doing a work which makes u happy as u rightly pointed out…u will never feel to retire…and you should not even esp if you are a male as women have lots of stuff to do at home and males have nothing much as noted…

    Hats off for such amazing articles…. YOU ARE REALLY GIFTED WITH A NICE INTELLECT..AND WE ARE GIFTED TO BE IN TOUCH WITH U…

  • S.Ramamoorthy February 20, 2014, 5:58 PM

    I fully endorse the statements made therein.I retired on 31.10.1992 but still now I aspire to get a suitable job for me even at this age to spend my time useful not necessarily hoping to get any financial benefits.The job should be suitable to the aged without any commuting.It will be appreciated that a suitable institution be formed to inform the retired people the openings available in various fields depending on their experience and qualifications.

  • Sundar February 20, 2014, 6:23 PM

    Good piece, Hemant. The fundamental point is that, more and more, it makes sense to think of changing goals at a certain stage in life rather thinking of retirement. Consider the fact that people now are even choosing to ‘ retire’ in their 40- s.

  • Anil Kumar Kapila February 21, 2014, 9:26 AM

    Hi Hemant
    A very good post.I feel that a person should continue to work as long as he remains healthy.Moreover one must have a hobby to pass time after retirement. It is a fact that most housewives never retire and sometimes they have to do more work when their husbands retire. I think males should learn to become more independent post retirement. They must try to help their wives to reduce their work.
    Many times one is forced to take retirement due to poor health or domestic circumstances. In my case I have one brother and one sister who are settled in the US. I am the only one in the family living in India.During my service I have always lived in various locations away from my parents.However I realised that my aging parents needed constant attention.So I had no option but to take retirement to be able to live with them.

  • Dipali February 24, 2014, 10:35 AM

    I think that retirement is a state of mind. Its planning for and looking forward to the point in your life when you stop working because you have to and are working because you want to. At this stage the compulsions that dictate what job you do, etc go away and you can look forward to doing the job you love and that gives you satisfaction. Money ceases to be the motivator

    • Aravinda Lochanan February 24, 2014, 12:22 PM

      I’m seeing interesting comments converging to, ‘Don’t stop after retirement’..well I wonder what are most of the retirees who had successfull career, doing nowadays? can we look around our small worlds and find out 🙂

  • vs February 24, 2014, 8:03 PM

    My dad (now retired) keeps himself occupied through gardening, teaching local kids, and teaching some basic yoga. Although my retirement’s pretty far away, I know I’ll get myself involved in teaching my favorites – photography, physics, and mathematics…..my tutorials and lecture plans have been taking some shape already!

  • D. Tekchandani March 3, 2014, 12:28 PM

    Dear Hemant,
    I retired in May 2009 but am till continuing with my job in the same organization on the motto “They require me, I require them””. After reading your good piece of advice, I have been vindicated. Thank you very much.

  • Rupee Raja March 8, 2014, 9:10 PM

    Dear Hemant
    The post is bang on! As Buffett puts it, if you are passionate about the work you do, then you will never need to ‘work’ for your entire life. You will daily ‘tap dance to work’ like buffett and hence never retire.

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