My father used to joke with his doctor that he was keeping him alive longer than he could afford. He died aged 86.
His expectations and template for later life were based upon his father’s experience and his father’s before him……
I recall reading somewhere that about 50 years ago most (men) retired in their mid to late 60s and probably died within an average of three years. The model of retirement was just a few years “pottering around”….
All that’s changed…….and is still changing…….
- Statutory retirement at 65 and the state pension were introduced when the average length of life was around 50.
- Average length of life is now around 80 and the average retirement age is 61.
- Therefore the post-retirement period may occupy a quarter of our life.
- Another 22 years of life for the average man of 65 – another 25 for the average woman of 65.
- More people are reaching 65 (8 in 10 men and 9 in 10 women).
But we haven’t changed our view of what’s to come……understandably the advice and warnings are around financial provision and health concerns… but few coax us to think about our dreams for this quarter of our lives…(That’s a lot of cups of coffee).
We’re used to being encouraged to have expectations and dreams for other stages of our lives but not it seems for this quarter of our life.
It’s like training for a marathon and somehow not thinking about the last 6.5 miles… sort of getting three quarters of the way through the race and then simply hoping for the best….. so in the New York Marathon that would be like crossing over the Willis Bridge into the Bronx at 20 miles and forgetting about Central Park!