Retire at 70? I Would Rather Die
We saw this in U. S. News' Why You Should Plan to Work Until Age 70 , a heavily publicized article that hit on Monday.
I walked away from the piece thoroughly depressed.
Work out of Boston College claims that just half of households can retire at age 66 and still maintain their current standard of living. If, however, workers delay retirement to age 70, that number jumps to 86%. The U.S. News & World Report article then summarizes the reasons why working until age 70 could make sense: More time to save, more time to let compounding work its magic, bigger social security checks and, the most depressing point of all, you will have fewer years' worth of retirement to finance.
I read the report, available at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research Web site, but found scant details on methodology. In a study like this, I would want to control for a litany of factors, including education, employment status and attitudes toward spending, saving and retirement. Technical issues aside, if the result remained work until you turn 70, I would have still been depressed.
At the moment, I have the privilege of loving my job. Other than the boring commute (about 2.5 steps from my side of the bed to my desk), it's the best gig I could ever ask for. Sure, as a self-employed person, I now understand why so many people loathe the IRS, but that's a #firstworldproblem as the cool set says on Twitter. I also understand why anyone who lives above the poverty line should hold his or her nose and vote Republican.
With that in mind, there's no way in H-E-double hockey sticks I am working until 70 years of age. In fact, if I have to work past 50, I'll be dismayed. (I turn 37 one week from today.) Now, mind you, I am probably the type of person who will write or do something until people are praying (or cursing) over me, but it better be by choice.
For example, the great hockey writer from Buffalo, NY, Jim Kelley, filed his last column just hours before succumbing to cancer. Talk about an inspiration. But, Kelley did not have to work. He kept on keeping on by choice.
That's how I want it to go down for me. In fact, if you told me I could live until 90 if I, out of necessity, worked until 70, I would accept another offer. How about work till 48 and die at 70 with 22 relatively care-free and work-free years to enjoy? That's the ticket.