Fun Time: Retirement is A Privilege that not Everyone Enjoys
Let’s talk about retirement. Assuming you’re not already retired, how soon do you want to retire? Depending on your age, health, income, and other factors, your answer may vary considerably from other working adults. But how soon would you retire if you had just won the lottery and were now rich enough to hire Gordon Ramsay to make breakfast for you every morning? I have a feeling that your answer, most likely, would be one of these three:
- Just give me five minutes. I need to gather all my stuff at work and tell my boss where to stick my last performance review.
- Just give me 15 minutes. I need to say goodbye to all my co-workers and give them my new address in the Bahamas.
- Just give me 30 minutes. I need to write a note telling my boss that I’m going to miss him/her as much as I miss my last colonoscopy.
Many people dream about leaving their boss a farewell note:
Remember when you told me that I need to be more decisive? Well, I just made the fastest decision of my life. I’m taking the day off. Actually, make that a week. Can I take a week off? On second thought, a week is too short. Can I take the rest of my life off?
As of today, I’m officially retired. I’m done working. No more early mornings, no more late nights. No more getting dressed up for meetings, no more getting dressed down in them.
I know I’m too young to be retired, but I’m old enough to be tired. I’m tired of working for you, tired of all your rules, tired of all the BS (boundless stupidity). Goodbye. Take care. And don’t worry: I’ll make sure the door doesn’t hit me on the way out.
Many people love their jobs, of course, and aren’t eager to retire, whether willingly or otherwise. But many others want to retire as soon as they have the financial means to do so. That’s why scores of people are protesting in France, angry that a new law has raised the retirement age for French workers from 62 to 64. They won’t be able to collect full pension benefits until they’re as old as Joe Biden’s favorite sweater.
Two years may not seem like a big deal, but imagine that you’re 61 years old and counting down the days to retirement, when you can say “adieu” to your job. Then suddenly a new law is passed and you have to say “Rebonjour, sale boulot” (hello again, you stinking job).
It’s worth noting that the retirement age in France is still lower than in most Western countries. For full social security benefits in the United States, you have to be at least 67, though you can settle for a lesser amount at 62. In India, the retirement age ranges from 60 to 62, depending on the job. If you work for the government, you’ll probably be nudged out at 60, unless you can get yourself a cushy job such as prime minister.
What we shouldn’t forget is that it’s a privilege to have a job that provides retirement benefits or allows you to save for retirement. It’s also a privilege to stop working completely and still afford to put a roof over your head, food on your table, and teeth in your mouth.
I’m not a fan of mandatory retirement, but I also think that anyone who has worked 30 years in a job should be able to dream of a happy retirement, one that comes without buying lottery tickets.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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