Nowhere in the bible is the word or concept of retirement mentioned. The first recorded use of a state pension was in 13 BC by Augustus Caesar for military veterans who had served at least 16 years in a legion and 4 years in the reserves. This was later increased to 20 years in a legion and 5 years in the reserves.
Apart from this instance, retirement was a foreign concept, and normal people worked until they died. This changed in1881 when Otto von Bismarck, the conservative minister president of Prussia, presented a radical idea to the Reichstag: government-run financial support for older members of society. His idea was ratified 8 years later and provided for citizens over 70.
In the USA, the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, and the official retirement age was 65. Life expectancy for American men was around 58 at the time.
Retirement is a man-made concept and was never meant to cater for living decades after stopping work, as is now common. The obvious issue around this is the finance needed to support the ever-growing generations of non-income earning citizens.
As mentioned, finance in retirement is an obvious concern that needs to be provided for, but what is often not considered is the human element of this transition. We work our whole careers, getting more skilled, experienced, and wiser, and then one day, after a specific birthday, we get tossed out. Consider all the knowledge and human capital that is lost. Consider even more the change one must deal with when this transition is forced upon us.
For many, our work represents or defines who we are; it gives us purpose. It is unsurprising that the biggest challenge retirees face is finding their purpose in retirement.
At Client Care, we understand that retirement requires rewirement, which does not happen by chance or overnight. This new phase of life is a goal from the day we start work, we often have 40 years to prepare for it, yet most of us only consider the financial aspect of this transition and neglect the human side.
Addressing the human side of retirement is vital if we want to live our best lives. The only way this can be done is with specific planning around creating this future life. Yes, we need the funds to live the way we want, but all the money in the world can’t guarantee a successful and happy retirement.
We help you find purpose for your money and your life.
Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Planner
t. 083 261 9287
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