I remember the day clearly.
My mum had just received her first pension payment from the UK Government. Back then women could retire at 60. She had just collected the “crisp” notes form the Post Office. She didn’t have any electronic payments or Internet Banking. Once you hit 60 (for women) or 65 (for men) you were officially classed as an OAP, (Old Age Pensioner)
My mum had worked all her life, and now it was time to take it easy. Many men and women in the UK won’t be able to afford this “luxury” until aged 67 or 68 as the Government has now moved the goalposts in response to people living longer.
Going Downhill Fast Without Brakes
Anyway. I saw a very notable decline in my mother’s behaviour. She seemed to have taken the label “Old Aged Pensioner” quite literally and in order to fit the label, started to seem a bit “lost” and repetitive. Instead of having a routine, as people do with a job, her routine was split between shopping, reading and watching TV.
Let’s be honest, there is only so much shopping, reading and watching TV you can do before it gets boring.
I noticed that she no longer wanted to do a lot of the things that she liked to do before retirement. Her motivation seemed to have dried up. It was almost as if having that label “Old Age Pensioner” was a gift from the government to tell you, you are officially retired from normal life, the rest is almost over, goodbye.
The lesson here is quite simple. Retirement from a job doesn’t have to be the end. My mother started winding down on life 36 years before she died. Yes, she lived to 96. You don’t know when your expiry date is due, why spend years in retirement waiting for it to happen?
Surely, the day you retire is the day you “Aspire”?, You’re not winding down, you’re starting up aren’t you?. You have centuries to be dead, but many people start preparing for the fateful day Waaaaay too soon.
Thoughts are things. They have a peculiar effect on the body and the world around it. You can hasten your demise simply by creating it in your mind. The opposite is of course true. Keep yourself active, think good thoughts and expect to live a long life.
Being a pensioner is not all it’s cracked up to be. Unless you were fairly shrewd with your investments over the years or you have a good company pension, most pensioners live pretty near to the breadline. As inflation roars on every year, you need a lot more to live on.
Why retire into poverty?
And you may well outlive a lot of the people around you.
People Are Living Longer
According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 65-year-old women have a 50% chance of living to 90, while men have the same chance of living to 87.
If you were too busy to start that business, or whatever your life’s ambition was while you were an employee, start now. At 65, you might only be two thirds of the way through your life. One thing is for sure though…
You could leave it all to chance (not a good idea). Many people wind down upon retiring too much and end up becoming so lethargic that they get sick, old too quickly and start to represent your label
You could raise your lifestyle and make money doing something enjoyable.
Passive income is the pathway to a prosperous last third of your life. Don’t rely on the government, they’ll only give you enough to eat beans on toast every day. The whole working 40/50 years of your life for someone else is a broken system in my opinion, it rarely creates wealth and nearly always creates disappointment.
Break out of the mould.
Have a great day.