Well, not directly but conceptually. I’m glad our great minds think alike.
You may ask, where on earth did I get that idea from?
There is an article in Singapore Business Review (click here to read) titled “Age is an advantage” whereby Sir Branson gave his opinion on older entrepreneurs and workers. His main advice are:
- Use the years to your advantage
- Make new friends and keep the old
- Feed your motivation
- Stay active (physically)
- Pursue new dreams
That’s what boomers (now commonly refer to as ‘senior people’) have to do to continue with our purposeful lives. We must not let the legislative definition of retirement to slow us down in any way.
In fact the term ‘retirement’ should be dropped from 21st century thinking. Even the notion of semi-retired is a bit of a whitewash. With pensions melting away like the polar ice, there isn’t really any point in enforcing the mandatory ‘end of employment’.
The public and private sector should realize the wastage of productivity and economic contribution when experienced, healthy people are made redundant and forced to retire for whatever reason.
Boomers don’t need to retire if our health permits. By retire, I mean stop work completely. Work may take another form such as going into business, investing, volunteering, teaching, learning or caring.
Perhaps occupation is a better word. How do we occupy our time in a stimulating way when we leave regular employment?
I know someone who started volunteering and later founded a social enterprise. A friend who left the banking industry some years ago took a horticulture course, bought a flower nursery and now running a landscape company. There are many more examples.
There are different things that we can do besides what we’ve been doing for the past 30 odd years. Of course, we have to find the occupation and lifestyle within our means and preferred challenge levels. Even for people who have amassed great fortunes must find meaningful activities to occupy one’s time.
Something else I picked up from Sir Branson. (Well we’re not exactly on first name basis yet so it’ll be such honorific for the time being)
That senior leaders tend to surround themselves with teams of trusted people whom they have worked with for a long time. Nothing wrong with that except its a restrictive zone of comfort which may turn opaque like our eyes submitting to cataract.
At our age when we’ve been there and done that, it’ll take a lot of convincing to start something new or start all over again. But this is a mindset that has to change.
Boomers don’t give up what we already know when we do something new or different. We’ve survived the fastest changing development since the Bronze Age and still have what it takes to make things work no matter where we are and what we do.
We’ve just got to expand our comfort zone by bringing in new energies and fresh ideas to enrich and revitalize us and in turn spread the vigour to those around us.
That way, we can achieve dependency freedom which is far more rewarding than the financial freedom that commercial institutions are selling to us.