Retiring a defunct concept
This week my anti-industrial ageism is directed towards the concept of retirement.
To me, the concept of retirement means the tired old production unit becomes an OAP and is permitted use a controlled drip feed of money to do hobbies before he dies.
With the company pension plan, it’s an industrial tool that entices workers into relinquishing their freedom and identity until employers are done with them (a promise that increasingly can’t be kept anyway).
It’s indentured servitude…does that sound nice?
Whether retirement is seen as a stage where you get the freedom to start living how you want, or reach obsolescence and start dying, either way it is depressing and unnecessary. So why not ignore the stage entirely, and plump for living all the way through?
I am beginning to feel strongly that if you are self-directed, and doing things you really like, and avoiding things that don’t really matter, then there’s no need to retire, no need to save as much, and no pressure to earn as much. This brings a whole new world of options.
For thousands of years in cultures that haven’t become ‘developed’, the oldies, with their accumulated experience and wisdom, have been and still are considered to be the most valuable members of that society. In our industrial society, we are conditioned to think we are bound for the scrapheap at 65 (unless you can be one of those successful people who can retire young, at 50).
I want to become one of the “post-industrial oldies”. They hold onto their freedom and do not have their identity decided for them. They feel fine about continuing to work because they don’t feel they sacrificed everything earlier on in life, and work has never been an obligation anyway (instead, an inspired choice). They use their years of experience, lengthening life expectancy, and the nimble, niche nature of the modern economy to their advantage. They are Super.
It’s not the 65 years olds who are obsolete, it’s the industrial thinking behind the concept of retirement.
Away goes retirement. Feels good. What’s next?