Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retirement Planning

Are you planning to retire? Is the fear of retirement bothering you night and day? Are you sure about your retirement planning and whether you have enough savings?

Well, these are some of the most common questions that one might ask oneself several times while planning for retirement. Retirement can be said to be the phase of life where a person leaves or losses his employment or professional identity forever. In fact, I have even read newspaper articles that suggest retirement as a concept is actually fairly new in our human history. Afterall, people in the past used to work as long as they were able to. There was no such thing as a retirement age!

I shudder at the thought of retirement. Afterall, I find it hard to imagine sitting at home having nothing to do. Yet I can't help notice the trend that these days, older people are increasingly moving towards semi retirement by reducing daily or weekly work hours before they actually go into full retirement. I have seen many real life examples. Others have even gone a step further and taken a more radical approach - by suggesting that one can go on mini-retirements throughout one's life. (Read the 4 Hour Work Week and you will know what I am talking about)

In today's world with its ever increasing cost of living, it is hard to imagine somebody retiring and totally stopping work and not drawing an income. How certain can one be that he will not outlive his or her savings? Based on the average life expectancy of Singaporeans, I think the average male or female will live to age 80. But that is being average and if one happens to be above average, you could possibly be living till 90 or even 100! What if you had only enough savings for 10 years or 20 years and retired at the age of 60. You will be too old to find employment then!

There are in fact some employment opportunities out there that allows for flexi work arrangements for the elderly. Singapore is also introducing a Re-employment Act to make employers offer older employees some kind of employment even after the official retirement age. In the future, it is not hard to imagine that elderly folks can work from home as they have easy access to the computer and internet.

For me, I believe I will try to work for as long as I can. I have changed my thinking about retirement a few times in my life. In the past, I wanted to retire as early as possible. Now, I see retirement as something that I want to avoid. If I can find something that I love to do, I don't mind doing it for the rest of my life!

It is useful to note this: Your retirement age is not fixed by law; in fact it’s fixed by your potential and willingness to work. In short, a retirement that makes your retired life fun loving and worthwhile is the best retirement plan that one can have. In fact, I would not call it retirement at all but rather active ageing.


  1. I'm interested in that part about the mini-retirements. I'll take a look at that resource that you've provided later. I agree with that part where you said that you'll render service as long as you can still work for your company. If you've given a lot for your company, then they'll really appreciate it if you would continue working with them.

  2. Thanks for the comment. You can read up on mini-retirements in Tim Ferris' 4 hour work week book.

  3. good post.....I appreciate yor way of writing that make the blog attractive and make reader to hold longer to your blog.
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