The idea of setting a mandatory retirement age has been around for centuries. In ancient Greece, for example, there was a law that required men to retire from public office at the age of 70. According to the World Bank, today many countries have limits already in place.
- Brazil: 70 for men and women
- Algeria: 65 for men 60 for women
- France: 70 for men and women
- China: 60 for men and 50 for women
- Saudi Arabia: 60 for men and women
In the United States the discussion of when to retire is becoming a more common topic. The current age to receive Social Security benefits can start at 62 but is done by most at 65. There is talk of eventually raising that age to 67 as the lifespan increases, the population gets older, and the viability of the program is called into question.
The President of the United States is over 80 years of age. Given the physical and mental demands of the job, there is concern about Mr. Biden’s ability to have the stamina to execute the duties of his office effectively.
The picture above shows Senators Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, two of the oldest members of congress.
Therefore, when or should you set a mandatory retirement age for yourself?
First, let’s reframe the word retirement. Typical thinking around the term means you stop working and spend all your time on relaxing and fun personal pursuits. You leave any kind of formal work to the young ones. If that is unattractive to you, don’t discount the concept of retirement, change it to post-career living.
Second, evaluate your goals. Over 50% of the people who have taken the Retirement Time Analysis say their career is one of the main fulfilments in life and without it they would lack aim, direction, and purpose. If this is you, take a hard look at the rest of your time and set a robust goal strategy that broadens what can bring you meaning.
Reframe Your Time
Third, audit how you use your time today. Two-thirds of those who have taken the Time Management Analysis consistently can’t manage their time effectively. Until you get a better understanding on where best to place and focus your time, retirement can look like a “time wasteland.”
Setting Your Mandatory Age
Taking a long hard look at post-career life, the goals you set for yourself, and the way you spend your time – see what a mandatory date might look like. Consider the following:
- Safety: As people age, their physical and mental abilities will decline, which can make them more likely to make mistakes or have accidents. What will you need to consider in your life to perform at a level that is safe for you and everyone else?
- Efficiency: As people age, they may become less productive or less adaptable to change. What goals can you set for yourself to understand if you see limitations creep into your life?
- Opportunities: As people age, too much focus on the professional can leave amazing personal experiences on the table. What changes can you make to enrich personal capabilities without sacrificing the enjoyment you get from working?
How did you do?
If you were able to come up with a number, great. I hope at least I made you think. While retirement is often aligned with a number (say 65), post-career life is not. By reframing your perspective on retiring, creating goals well beyond work, and getting a better handle on your time: life is better planned around a variety of endeavors and not just work/no work. You don’t have to set a mandatory retirement date because you pursue a lifestyle that brings satisfaction to all areas of your life, that you adapt as necessary.
Set a lifestyle strategy now that takes away the mandatory retirement age because you are living in a post-career mindset that incorporates so many other areas in life.
Learn more about the lifestyle possibilities of your future self.
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