Raise the Retirement Age?

Barbara Morris

Barbara Morris, R.Ph.

Raise the retirement age? Absolutely!

Not only should the retirement age be raised, retirement should be retired.

I’m not a total Grinch about retirement, however. Before anyone throws rotten eggs, let me clarify:

Everyone has a right (so far) to live how he or she chooses. Many people get to age 65 and are “done” mentally and or physically because of genetic damage or because they have abused or neglected themselves over the years, or have worked at a job detrimental to health. Bad things happen to good people who do the right things. So, if you get to age 65 and you need to retire, do it. But “health reasons” is the only legitimate reason to justify traditional retirement.

Like it or not, we are made for work. Not only that, it doesn’t make sense that getting to age 65 (or any specific age) automatically justifies throwing education, skills and wisdom on the scrap heap in exchange for the fantasy life of “retirement.”

Going to work every day even if you don’t feel like it keeps decline at bay. Being in the real world and dealing with challenges, as stressful as they may be, keeps the brain flexible and fired up.

The reason people turn into decrepit little old ladies and little old geezers has little to do with chronological age, faulty genes, or even poor health. It has a lot to do with the outdated stultifying retired senior lifestyle that exacerbates decline.

God does not ordain retirement. “Thou shall retire at 65” is not one of the Ten Commandments nor is it a Biblical mandate. It is a man-made catastrophe for healthy people who want to live their entire lives in the best mental and physical condition possible.

Raising the retirement age would forestall much of the “stealth decline” caused by traditional retirement. But that’s not enough. We should go a step farther and give up the nonsense that at a certain age, healthy people should stop growing or be of value.

It’s time to promote, legitimize, and support balanced lifelong growth and productivity as the preferred way to live for those who want to be vital, useful, and financially stable as long as life lasts. Failure to do so will continue to perpetuate masses of debilitated, dependent old people, their full potential wasted by a well intended but outdated system that no longer makes sense, if ever it did.

 

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