Inspired and Blessed by Bob Acebedo
Inspired & Blessed

On getting older and retiring

Jul 8, 2024, 7:15 AM
Bob Acebedo

Bob Acebedo


No, I’m not thinking about retirement yet – it’s not in my radar for now. I like to reckon that getting older or retiring at 65 should not mean letting go of work or halting on your dreams.

Albeit, startling new research data show that those who continue to work right up to the maximum retirement age of 65 tend to have shorter retirement years than their peers who retire younger.

In an article which appeared on authored by Alec Riddle, an authority on financial planning, entitled “Retire at 55 and live to 80; work till you’re65 and die at 67”, an actuarial study conducted on some of the larger US Pension Funds – including Boeing Aerospace, Ford Motor Company, and Bell Labs – indicates that employees who retired at the age of 65 died within two years of retirement. The same study also showed that those who retired earlier, say age 55, tend to enjoy their retirement on average for more than 25 years.

The study concluded that hard working retirees at 65 are more likely putting too much STRESS on their ageing bodies and minds, and develop a variety of health problems, than those who retire earlier.

I feel quite sad at those erstwhile frugal and hard working seniors who, at 65 and beyond, have saved a lot of money to travel or live on for the rest of their life, but their body can’t keep up anymore – and neither can they buy back lost time or missed chances.

On personal reckoning, hence, the modest advice upon retirement is not necessarily to stop working, be idle, or switch off from striving on your dreams. Rather, more importantly, it is a matter of avoiding or having LESS STRESS, doing things that are of interest to you at a more leisurely pace, and continue living your dreams. 

Yes, we’re never too old to dream new dreams – because a happy and meaningful life is a never-ending enterprise.

Now, minus the discomforting thoughts about aging, I’d like to put forward some profound and invigorating thoughts about getting older.

One, I have redefined the way I see aging and retirement. Getting older is actually a great thing in many ways. I have more time. I am comfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove like I did when I was younger. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race – because, precisely, I am neither a rat and nor am I in any race. I am smarter than I have ever been. I have more and deeper relationships.

Two, having strayed through the ups and downs of life, I now have a sense of purpose and meaning. A meaningful life is a life anchored on purpose. If human natural law requires that we have to relate with one another, human purpose presupposes that we are meant not only for ourselves but for others, that we are meant not only being BLESSED but also being a BLESSING to others too. For, truly, to serve others – being our life purpose – is to benefit ourselves; to bless others is also to bless ourselves.

Lastly, I have realized that senior life is the best time to be GRATEFUL. Harvard Medical School professor Sanjiv Chopra, in his TEDx talk, said: “Research has shown that if you express gratitude on a regular basis, you’ll be happy, you’ll be more creative, you’ll be more fulfilled – you might even live ten, or more, years longer.” The more we are grateful, the more we will find things to be grateful for in our senior life. 

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