Given the scale and potential political ramifications of the current global economic recession, it’s not surprising that a lot of attention is being given in the media to the actual and impending job losses. And it is indeed terrible to consider the current and looming impact for so many thousands of individuals and families.
But one group of people, those known till now as “future retirees“, who had been contemplating very happily the idea of not having a job any more, are now looking at the possibility – or likelihood if you believe some pundits – of working long into the future and forgoing any hope of the full-time pursuit of leisure activities.
According to an article just published in Business Week, Why You’ll Work Through Your Retirement, the message for those who have until now seen themselves as future retirees is, in two words, “Forget retirement”.
The recession is making clear what we’ve suspected for a long time. The concept of not working and embracing leisure for the last third of one’s life isn’t practical for most people.
Admittedly, as the article points out, baby boomers, as the group in the spotlight, are as a group known to see themselves as not actually retiring, given that they have no desire or intention to give up the pleasures and trappings an employed existence gives them. Not for this generation the disciplined belt-tightening or practices of frugality our forebears considered appropriate and acceptable for their more senior years.
But there is a world of difference between choosing not to retire and being forced into a situation of not being able to retire, even if you wished.
And this is not just about having it easy. As the Business Week article says:
Many aging workers simply can’t save enough to create a solid foundation of savings that will maintain their standard of living in retirement.
For anyone so affected, or their family or friends, the Business Week article is well worth reading in full.
But from the perspective of someone who long ago gave up working in a job and set up my own business from home, I find it somewhat frustrating that an article like this presents the situation pretty much as a dichotomy: retire and suffer or keep your job as long as you can, with the sweetener that there are social and other benefits in continuing to work.
The article doesn’t make reference to a third option: keep working but for yourself, by setting up, with very low setup costs and overhead, your own business from home.
I appreciate that some people want to either work in a traditional job, for someone else, or be just retired, footloose and fancy-free. But my belief is that there are many others who, if they felt confident and enthused (very important, actually essential!) about making a shift, a properly researched and thoughtfully established business from home could help achieve a happy, rewarding, satisfying “best of both worlds” solution.
By all means work. But for you, not for The Man.
And if you want to combine that with the joys of the open road in your RV, I know of at least two wonderful examples of people who do just that – and do so in style – which I will save for another post on this topic.
Because I do want to pursue this topic, as part of a personal campaign of doom-busting and hope-raising in this year of challenge for the world.