Sunday, May 4, 2014

TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK AFTER 65? DO WE REALLY HAVE A CHOICE?

Who in their right mind would want to continue working upon reaching retirement age? After spending the best years of our lives working hard for others just so we can feed the family, most of us can't wait to clock out for good.

No more daily stress of a 9-5 job. The sheer joy of waking up late, and spending the rest of the day doing what we like. Time is our own, and we can finally withdraw all our savings from the EPF/CPF to spend as we like.

Life can't possibly be better than this. No wonder the retirement years are aptly called the golden years.

Yet, in a simple survey carried out by the Straits Times recently, 70% of the 50 workers aged 55+ said they would want to keep on working.

Straits Times, 3 May 2014

A good friend of mine is a strong advocate of full retirement after 55. He feels that retirees should not seek re-employment. They should just enjoy life to the full. For many that would mean playing golf, travelling, picking up new hobbies and spending time with the family.

Sure, we all deserve the good life upon retirement, don't we? But sad to say, many of us, especially those from the middle income bracket, can't afford to simply stop working. What happens when the pay check stops coming in? Who will take care of the bills for utilities? Who will pay for our children's postgraduate studies? Who will foot our elderly parents' medical expenses? Who will keep up with the mortgage payments and the insurance premiums?

And what about the rising cost of food and fuel? Inflation eats into whatever little savings we have.

We may live longer now thanks to better healthcare and advances in medicine, but longevity can be a bane for those who do not have adequate savings to support 15-20 years of retirement.

It's a growing worldwide trend for older workers to seek re-employment after retirement.

If your company offers to re-employ you in a different capacity, or extend your contract after you have reached retirement age, would you accept the offer?

I bet the answer for many of us is YES. We really don't have much of a choice.

You might want to read the following related article:

WORK BEYOND 65? WHY NOT?

2 comments:

Robyn Lee said...

I could have retired at 63 but chose to work until I was 68 when I was forced to leave so the company could employ someone younger! The current Australian government is now planning to put retirement age up to 70...it's already up to 67. I think there'll be a backlash about that as well as the other drastic measures they hope to implement in the annual budget this month.

el-f said...

My school principal literally begged me to stay on when I reached 55 - the retirement age in 2004. She offered attractive terms, but I chose to leave to pursue my own interests even though I enjoyed teaching.
More countries are opting to remove retirement age altogether. As with almost everything, there are pros and cons. I think the case for working beyond 65 is getting stronger for obvious reasons.