Retired? Why should I?


What really surprises me is the social acceptance of the forced end of the working career. I am convinced that there is no greater waste in this society than 'retiring' people in their sixties people who are still very active. The principle of retiring and quitting work is an aberration that has grown out of our prosperity, perhaps because the ultimate goal is to enjoy your life. Does it make sense to retire people at the age of sixty-five? I'm convinced it isn't.

Retiring does not necessarily mean that you will be less stressed and happier.


The fact that certain people want to retire is very understandable. If you have a hard job, if you have been in the classroom for years, if you have worked for many years as a dockworker, if you have walked on the top of your toes for many years, it is logical that you want to end this work. But retiring altogether is something else.

A huge social problem

When you are 18 years old (sometimes even before that age...) you are expected to choose which direction you study. This often determines what kind of work you will do over the next 40 years, without you really realizing what this really entails. This almost forces you to look in a certain direction on a professional level. You are in a pipeline for the coming years.

That you want to escape from that professional straitjacket after forty years doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. But I don't think that this has anything to do with the end of your career.

 Possible solution for the pension scheme

It should be easier to change jobs every ten years. And to reorient yourself. With the accompanying training courses that are necessary. Impossible? Too high a cost? Do you think that the lack of job satisfaction, the associated lack of efficiency, the high chance of extra stress and eventually burn-out will lead to lower costs? It is not possible to estimate how much this has cost an organisation, no, society as a whole, and still does, every day. Every day people who don't feel well, who don't feel at home.

An example

If someone decides to study law, he should be able to retrain just as easily to become a teacher after ten or fifteen years, for example. Or as a photographer. Perhaps this person has discovered that this form of creativity gives a special boost to his life and would therefore be very enriching on a personal level.

It should be much easier to change jobs every ten years. And to reorient yourself. Retiring does not necessarily mean that you will be less stressed and happier.


Major advantages: motivation and creativity

The great advantage of these career adjustments is that people would remain motivated, creative and enjoy doing their job. This in turn would nourish stronger personal development. Productivity would increase, stress levels would be greatly reduced, burn-out would be much less common.

Consequently, people would then not desire to stop working at the age of sixty-five. The great experience acquires in practicing a profession and the creativity that can be shown, would bring such job satisfaction that one does not think of stopping. Why so?

Another possible solution for the pension scheme

If those experienced older employees would be to used in a company or in an organization at the age of sixty-five, say, to train others or to provide some useful information, this would only benefit all parties. The company itself, for the prospective whisk of younger employees, but also for those who act as 'teachers'. 

They would feel appreciated and they will want to share what they have built up with others in their company. The efforts and costs that an organization has spent forty years trying to have skilled people in their ranks would be even more rewarding if they were not just thrown out on the street 'at the end of their career', but were kept in the company.

There is no greater loss for a company than that people who have been trained and trained for a specific function for years leave early or are sent away. The effort that an organisation has made to have skilled people on board is then largely lost.


Retiring often brings a lot of stress. In my book "Stop Stress", I devoted a chapter to stress among pensioners. The book can be ordered in various forms at

I am convinced that a lot of people in their sixties have ears for this, and perhaps also 'young people'. Don't forget that many inventions have been made by people over seventy...

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