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Can You Afford to Retire?

Can You Afford to Retire?

In an episode of the popular 1990s television series 'The Sopranos', a gangster told Toni, the titular character of the family, that he wanted to retire. In response, Toni sarcastically said, "Are you a hockey player?"

Some people don't easily let go. At the age of 89, Giorgio Armani refused to resign as the chief executive of his fashion house. Despite being the second richest person in Italy, his work ethic hasn't diminished.

Charlie Munger, who was Warren Buffett's associate at Berkshire Hathaway, continued to work for the investment powerhouse until last year when he passed away at the age of 99. Buffett himself has risen to power at the age of 93.

People like Armani, Buffett or Munger are exceptional. A survey this year found that nearly one in three Americans said they will never retire. Most said they cannot afford to leave their full-time jobs, especially when inflation is already eating into even modest Social Security checks.

But let's say you're one of the fortunate ones who can choose to retire. Should you do it?

The pressures of corporate life are understandable. You've climbed the career ladder, gaining more prestige and a bigger paycheck with each step. Yet there was an opportunity for retirement lingering on a Friday afternoon in your early 60s.

If you get somewhat restless in retirement, you could play bridge or help with the grandkids. And if that restlessness doesn't work, there are always magazines, TV and blankets.

Many professionals in the tech sector take the proposed retirement at the stipulated time, making way for the younger generation. In this case, maintaining their position becomes unrealistic. Still, resigning means giving up one's place. Retirement gives you a lot of time. But without the busyness, it can leave you feeling sidelined.

Everything has changed. People are living longer. It's true that the retirement years are stretching longer. But it won't lead them to monotony or a purposeless life.

After retiring as a lawyer after 32 years, you could start devoting time to photography or something else. This way, you won't have to stay without work or suffer from a lack of purpose. If you are no longer the head of the hospital, you could occasionally participate in hospital or medical service work. Or you could teach or assist at your local clinic.

Self-assessment and personal growth could benefit from many avenues, including non-profit work or even advising others on starting a new business.

You could keep a pocket diary. Additionally, you could find fulfillment through theater, art exhibits, and practicing badminton. All hobbies are good and beneficial for many. But those a little too accustomed to the mechanized life may find them meaningless and even mildly disturbing.

Whenever Armani is asked to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor, he replies, "Absolutely not." Instead, he wants to remain involved in running the business every day.

Tvista Desk

Tvista Desk

Sub Editor

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