Retirement, then what?

Retirement! This is a dreaded word not merely as it may signify that the person is officially ‘old’ but because of the void it brings in the lives of the retirees. Time hangs heavily as a person used to being in office for long hours, having several people look up to them (by 58/60 years, most people do reach a position of some responsibility in their profession and lead teams of varying sizes) suddenly finds nothing to do. Retirement age in our country was increased to 60 from 58 years but better health care, better diet etc mean people are fairly fit, active and mentally sharp at this time.

By age 60, children of most parents have left the nest and are settled elsewhere in India or abroad. If the mind is allowed to become inactive, idle then physical aging and degeneration sets in rapidly. Knee/ back pain who were strangers earlier suddenly become unwanted companions as can other physical ailments. Within a year post-retirement, I have seen several such people look older. Besides health issues, financial constraints may begin as the monthly paycheck stops (particularly in absence of smart retirement financial planning). In joint families, communication may suddenly become an issue as the children and their spouses are busy in their own careers.

Many of our top politicians have seen over 60 summers and some consider themselves still young! (read this interview:
In the private sector, leaders of some top Indian firms belong to the over 60-year club as well (…

In a country predominantly comprised of youth, over 60 year-olds cannot think of a regular job. Such fresh retirees (a la fresh grads!) are a rich source of wisdom that industry and society can benefit from. Some kind of post retirement engagement will be a win-win situation for the individual and the industry. This is easily said and done for politicians, CXOs, bureaucrats but about others? Are they to fade away, spend their time playing golf/bridge, babysitting grandchildren, etc?

Some companies do turn to retired executives as ‘consultants’. Is there a need for a dedicated organisation / NGO to help over 60-year old retirees? Should the retirement age be increased again? (read this article:
What do you think?

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