Consider Un-retirement ….
Things to consider when thinking about retirement
First and foremost: Remember what keeps us healthy. “Your brain needs exercise or it will atrophy.”
- Never retire.
- Instead, make a plan to change your job, your career, your work
… to keep your synapses snapping
… to focus on what brings purpose, meaning, joy
The history of retirement
The invention of retirement came out of Germany in 1889.
Retirement was meant to free up jobs for young people by paying workers 65 years and older to do nothing until they died.
Note – The average life span at that time was 67.
At first, forced retirement was viewed negatively by a significant proportion of the population in America. It was understood that retirement was a violation of older person’s need for social and occupational integration.
But after WW II, older persons became more separated from the rest of society.
And the multigenerational family units have been increasingly separated as the younger members move away with job relocations, etc
Meanwhile, the older population has been living longer with advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles and financial security.
This opened the door for the leisure industry. Retirement is now hyped as a time of rest, relaxation and fun that we all can look forward to. Pasricha, 2016.
Retirement is a broken concept
Retirement is based on 3 untrue assumptions:
- people enjoy doing nothing vs being productive over time
- people can afford to live well while earning no money for decades
- society can afford to pay others to earn no money for decades
Work keeps us engaged and healthy
The 4 gifts work gives us
- Social contact – study after study shows us that social connections are the single biggest driver of our happiness
- Structure in our lives – work gives us structure. Without the structure of activities and purpose, life gets blurry
- Stimulation – work, especially in this timeframe, gives us a place to learn and discover things about our lives and ourselves.
- Story – this time of life is an opportunity to recalibrate your life’ mission and rethink what you want to be a part of.
The world needs nurses
The world need nurses in all corners of life.
The world has far more problems, opportunities, and challenges than it can solve. Nurses are needed. There is so much you can do. There are so many places to go.
This is a special time for nurses to keep learning, keep changing and keep growing.
Pasricha, Neil. The Happiness Equation. New York: Putnam’s Sons; 2016.