Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Thoughts on Retirement

Retirement was a word that crept into my dictionary when I was around Secondary School. It was during that time that I heard that certain teachers were retiring. It was also during that time when I started to ask myself what I wanted to do with my life and when I intended to retire. It seemed like retirement was the norm and I was aghast to find out that retirement as a concept probably was seeded only recently.

In fact, I would like to think that most of the people who lived before our time never did retire. They simply took on a slower pace of life but continued to remain actively involved in running their own businesses be it food stalls, shops, etc, etc. I think our ancestors would give us an incredulous look when they find out that people actually get to enjoy retirement right now.

For me, I have many thoughts on retirement. Earlier thoughts revolved around saving enough money so that I could retire when I was 60 and then travel around the world. However, lately, my thinking about retirement has taken a 180 degree turn. I now feel that I never want to retire. If possible, I will like to be able to work for the rest of my life. However, I am uncertain which employer would be willing to hire me after I am 65 or 70.

So a lot of thoughts nowadays revolve around how I can possibly find a path for myself after that age where I will still be able to contribute back to society. Of course, I am assuming that I will still be alive then. Who knows, I might be 6 feet under by then =)

What jobs can one do after 65? How can I continue to work even after I am 65? What knowledge, skills and expertise must I build up from now till I am 65 so that I will still be relevant to society then?


  1. may be we should plan for quasi, semi, then full retirement?

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  3. "What knowledge, skills and expertise must I build up from now till I am 65 so that I will still be relevant to society then?"

    The skills you need to acquire are those that will not regress with time. Example, project management skill but not IT programming skill. Sales talk and pitch that will be relevant in any industry that require sales. Accounting experience and skills that will be as relevant in 10years times and today. Medical knowledge for a GP will grow instead of shrink. Legal experience that will grow instead of shrink.

    So you have to ask yourself, what is your vocation now? Do you see your skillset being relevant in 10 or 20years time? If not, which vocation are you going to transition to? Do you want to start learning the relevant skillset? Again , if the vocation you are transiting to has a perishable(regressing) skillset, then you shouldn't learnt it 'coz it's another 20years before you can used it.

    Of importance to everyone is financial skill. It grows as the years passes and does not regress.

    Of importance again is your ability to accumulate as much cash to invest (instead of spending on frivolous items) in your productive years (23-40yrs old). Your 20years of financial skill (when you have done most of the mistakes you could) will then be immediately relevant to you when you reach 40yrs old when there is no room for failure in your investing.

  4. Hi Wealth Journey,

    This is very good advice. The best I have read over the long weekend. Thank you very much for sharing it.

  5. Investing skills are like XO. The older the better.

  6. Thanks WJ for the wonderful advice. I am sure many will agree that what you have laid out is indeed a solid one.

    However, I am sure some people due to the job they are in have no choice but to specialise in certain skills and are unable to find those timeless skills to learn without changing jobs.


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