Author Topic: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.  (Read 2630 times)


dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1203
  • Location: AL
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 11:08:55 AM »
News flash, if you like your job, don't quit. 

The title is also kind of click-baity.

“What they found was that people who continued to work past 65 had an 11 percent lower chance of death from all causes.”
Correlation does not imply causation. 

inline five

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 11:13:21 AM »
News flash, if you like your job, don't quit. 

The title is also kind of click-baity.

“What they found was that people who continued to work past 65 had an 11 percent lower chance of death from all causes.”
Correlation does not imply causation.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Most people have a hard time even making it to 65.

Also consider the type of jobs the WP reader represents. Typically well paid white collar workers with generous pay and benefit packages. Lots of government workers who work defined hours, zero time spent at home, or on the weekends, and holidays off.

clarkai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 11:15:01 AM »
I don't think I have the same kind of retirement in mind as this person- I intend to be very active in retirement, doing the sorts of things that I love doing, but don't think I can make a living off of.

So, let's look at their reasons:

1. Emotional benefit: working gives people purpose.

This is true, however, I don't think that working is the only way to find purpose in your life. And, a lot of us have hobbies/side gigs that will continue after we retire.

2. By working longer, you can save more.

Duh. But somethings in life are worth more than ever-increasing amounts of money.

3. People who work longer tend to be healthier.

Ok, but which way does the causality run? And could not one offset this difference by remaining active and engaged with the community? Or volunteering? Or puttering along at a part-time job that they find rewarding and enjoyable?

I'm sure for some people, who authentically love working their job more than the other options in life, would do better by working as long as possible. But I'm not sure that's the majority. Still, points to think about and consider so that we can make sure to offset them.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8018
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 11:20:59 AM »
Pretty poorly executed click-bait article.

The three reasons are:
Not retiring can be 1) emotionally, 2) physically and 3) financially good [for some people].

the emotional argument is all based on the idea that work gives people purpose, and assumes that earlier retirees cannot find this purpose elsewhere.

The physical argument is colored by all sorts of caveats, and the article Singletary cites starts with: "The scientific research is inconclusive, though it tends to tilt toward “yes.” This is particularly pronounced among people who find work fulfilling in the first place, who tend to be office workers, teachers and others whose workplace is not, say, a factory or a construction site"

The financial argument goes in the 'no-shit' category.  Turns out people who never stop working don't need 25x their spending.  To use this as a reason not to retire is rather circuitous logic: Never retire because it requires less in savings than retiring.

I generally appreciate the author's - Michelle Singletary - etnry level advice towards saving and budgeting, but here she seems to be attacking the idea of ER for little reason other than 'it's trendy right now'. She even lobs an accusation that any deputized IRP officer would endorse.

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 660
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 11:41:41 AM »
An older friend of mine has been going downhill ever since retiring from a store clerk position. Turns out that some of his medical conditions are helped by standing/walking a lot, and even with deliberate walks etc., he's not getting anywhere near the 8 hours/day of time on his feet that he was getting through his job. So at least in his (very specific and unusual) case, working past 65 really did extend his healthy years somewhat.

FIPurpose

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
  • Location: ME
    • FI With Purpose
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 11:49:23 AM »
An older friend of mine has been going downhill ever since retiring from a store clerk position. Turns out that some of his medical conditions are helped by standing/walking a lot, and even with deliberate walks etc., he's not getting anywhere near the 8 hours/day of time on his feet that he was getting through his job. So at least in his (very specific and unusual) case, working past 65 really did extend his healthy years somewhat.

Sounds like if he's aware of what to do to solve his problem, but can't figure out how to fit it in to his life, he's making a deliberate health decision. I personally don't see myself being less active in full FIRE. If anything, I assume my hiking hours would more than double ;)

mathlete

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 741
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 12:20:56 PM »
On occasion, I find myself with too many vacation days. When this happens, I'll just take off a random day during the week. Often times when I do this, I end up getting day drunk and playing video games.

Is this is what early retirement would look for me, I'd be in big trouble. I don't think my job is the only thing standing between me and that life, but it's definitely something I hold in the back of my mind. I think I'll need to give myself some kind of structure when I quit.

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 684
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 12:28:45 PM »
Here's the problem I have with people like Michelle Singletary and Jean Chatzky. They're not financial experts. They're financial journalists who have shifted from writing stories where they interview experts to writing stories (and books) where they cast themselves as the experts.

Semantics, perhaps? No different than a sportswriter who becomes a sports columnist? I disagree. Show me your net worth and assets, financial journalists, and I'll give you more credit.

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 660
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 02:36:03 PM »
An older friend of mine has been going downhill ever since retiring from a store clerk position. Turns out that some of his medical conditions are helped by standing/walking a lot, and even with deliberate walks etc., he's not getting anywhere near the 8 hours/day of time on his feet that he was getting through his job. So at least in his (very specific and unusual) case, working past 65 really did extend his healthy years somewhat.

Sounds like if he's aware of what to do to solve his problem, but can't figure out how to fit it in to his life, he's making a deliberate health decision. I personally don't see myself being less active in full FIRE. If anything, I assume my hiking hours would more than double ;)
Well it's tough, because the nature of his condition makes standing and walking especially taxing in the immediate term, so it's the last thing he wants to be doing. Yet doing it for several hours a day does seem to improve his symptoms for a while afterward.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11357
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 02:39:51 PM »
“What they found was that people who continued to work past 65 had an 11 percent lower chance of death from all causes.”
Correlation does not imply causation.

I'd love to see what percentage of people who retire before 65 do so for health related reasons.

undercover

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 775
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 02:42:43 PM »
There are merits to this article (with many caveats of course...and you all already know them). Humans are built to work. It's hard to find purpose outside of meaningful work. We're also built to socialize. If you're not crawling bars and hostels during your travels as a retiree, you might start to feel a bit isolated.

Personally, if left to my own devices, I become a sloth. I don't think full on retirement is ever going to be feasible for me. I prefer "life more on my terms than yours" which still involves a healthy amount of work and socialization - it just becomes more optional. But I've come to realize that life is never truly on your terms. Shit happens all the time that's out of your control.

OtherJen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2018, 02:55:30 PM »
There are merits to this article (with many caveats of course...and you all already know them). Humans are built to work. It's hard to find purpose outside of meaningful work. We're also built to socialize. If you're not crawling bars and hostels during your travels as a retiree, you might start to feel a bit isolated.

I think this is true, and it certainly doesn't have to be paid work. My dad is a near-hermit level introvert by nature and retired at exactly age 65 (he turned 65 on the 26th day of the month and retired on the 30th of the same month). He's pretty happy and doesn't miss his job at all. His meaningful work involves gardening and cooking, which were the two skills he admired most in his parents when he was a child but never had time to do as an adult. For him, socializing involves occasional chats with neighbors and people at the grocery store and going out with my mom and her siblings a few times per month. If he didn't have those things, he'd be in his recliner in front of the TV all the time.

My MIL, on the other hand, retired in her early 50s after putting in her required 30 years and basically shut herself up in the house. She's the same age as my dad and FIL but seems much older and more frail.

DreamFIRE

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1108
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2018, 03:31:22 PM »
Another waste of time.   swampviz didn't disappoint.

MOD NOTE: Read the forum rules. This was rude, and didn't contribute anything.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 02:48:51 PM by arebelspy »

swampwiz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 347
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 05:16:53 PM »

Another waste of time.   swampviz didn't disappoint.

Glad to see that haters hate ...

hadabeardonce

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • It's never too early to learn the value of money.
    • My Journal
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 05:42:31 PM »
ICYMI there are instructions on how to send a message to the author of the article:
Quote
You can rant or rave. This space is yours. It’s a chance for you to express what’s on your mind. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”
I sent in a response to this:
Quote
The “in thing” now for retirement is to do it early.
There are communities, blogs and early-retirement crusaders whose mission is to sing the praises of a work-free lifestyle.
Actually, to tell the truth, many early-retirement enthusiasts are earning quite a bit of money through blogs and podcasts describing how they quit working in their 30s, 40s and early 50s. So technically they aren’t really retired, but that’s another matter.


Anyone listen to the Madfientists latest podcast about how he isn't drawing down from his portfolio because he's making enough from an application he developed? I was kind of bummed to hear that because I was looking to him for draw down experiences =P Good for him though and all the other FIRE bloggers who earn whatever they do doing whatever it is they want.

All the blogs promote good habits. Reduced consumption, increased saving, leveraging compound interest, healthy eating, healthy activities... the only potential pitfall of the whole thing is an ill timed jump into early retirement. Dreaming and working on a future that's something other than status quo is uplifting. Being a part of a community of planners, savers and those seeking value is pretty spiffy too.

craiglepaige

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1167
  • Location: Ohio
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 05:46:11 PM »
On occasion, I find myself with too many vacation days. When this happens, I'll just take off a random day during the week. Often times when I do this, I end up getting day drunk and playing video games.

Is this is what early retirement would look for me, I'd be in big trouble. I don't think my job is the only thing standing between me and that life, but it's definitely something I hold in the back of my mind. I think I'll need to give myself some kind of structure when I quit.

If your job (and whatever else) is the only thing keeping you from alcoholism you may want to get some help.

Full_Beard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2018, 06:23:14 PM »
One tangential post on terminology - "click-bait" has been incorrectly used. It means "content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page." That wasn't the purpose of the post and it was a link to an article from the Washington Post, a legitimate paper with (sometimes) good opinion pieces. You may find the particular article obvious, facile, or meaningless, but that doesn't make the link click bait.

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2018, 06:37:18 PM »
Funny how there aren't any article telling the rich to get to work or risk dying.  Only us working stiffs better not retire in case we die.  Lol!  Do we really not know how to live good lives if we're not working for pay? Or at least how to experiment and tweak till we're satisfied.

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1203
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2018, 07:38:43 PM »
“What they found was that people who continued to work past 65 had an 11 percent lower chance of death from all causes.”
Correlation does not imply causation.

I'd love to see what percentage of people who retire before 65 do so for health related reasons.

Exactly. I would also add the percentage of people who are basically forced out of their jobs and are never hired anywhere else due to things like age-ism.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 735
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2018, 05:44:46 AM »
I don't think I have the same kind of retirement in mind as this person- I intend to be very active in retirement, doing the sorts of things that I love doing, but don't think I can make a living off of.

So, let's look at their reasons:

1. Emotional benefit: working gives people purpose.

This is true, however, I don't think that working is the only way to find purpose in your life. And, a lot of us have hobbies/side gigs that will continue after we retire.

2. By working longer, you can save more.

Duh. But somethings in life are worth more than ever-increasing amounts of money.

3. People who work longer tend to be healthier.

Ok, but which way does the causality run? And could not one offset this difference by remaining active and engaged with the community? Or volunteering? Or puttering along at a part-time job that they find rewarding and enjoyable?

I'm sure for some people, who authentically love working their job more than the other options in life, would do better by working as long as possible. But I'm not sure that's the majority. Still, points to think about and consider so that we can make sure to offset them.

Good summation, though I'd like to add my thoughts on the three points.

1. Emotional benefit: working gives people purpose.

Working gives *some* people purpose. Using the definitions of "purpose", I would be sad if my work that I do gave me purpose.  I don't exist to work. It's something I do because it's necessary to supply the tools (i.e. money) I need to do the things I want in life.

Quote
noun: purpose; plural noun: purposes
1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
"the purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee"
a person's sense of resolve or determination.
"there was a new sense of purpose in her step as she set off"
a particular requirement or consideration, typically one that is temporary or restricted in scope or extent.
"pensions are considered as earned income for tax purposes"

I like this quote on purpose:
His purpose is to realize himself, to live the fullest possible life, and he is responsible for this, like all men, regardless of how society treats him. —Shelby Steele,  Wilson Quarterly,  Summer 1990

If that had been written "His purpose is to go to a job and perform tasks as directed so that a client/customer can receive goods/services" it would be monumentally sad for most people. Maybe if your job is helping others, curing cancer, or some other such endeavor I could see it being a decent "purpose" in life. Most people, however, do not work such a job.

2. By working longer, you can save more.

Savings for the sake of saving is stupid. Saving for a goal in smart. When you've saved enough for the goal, continuing to save for it doesn't sound like a reasonable path to take.

3. People who work longer tend to be healthier.

Causality needs to be established, and hasn't been. 70 year old people tend to be retired. 35 year old people tend to work. 70 year old people tend to have health issues. 35 year old people tend to be healthy. People who are unhealthy tend to be unable to work as long as healthy people. Healthy people tend to be able to work longer. None of that implies that working is what causes people to have better health. They're just statements that correlate.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8018
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2018, 07:35:58 AM »
One tangential post on terminology - "click-bait" has been incorrectly used. It means "content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page." That wasn't the purpose of the post and it was a link to an article from the Washington Post, a legitimate paper with (sometimes) good opinion pieces. You may find the particular article obvious, facile, or meaningless, but that doesn't make the link click bait.

The title and the evidence presented is what makes it click-bait, not the writer or the source.
The title is: Three reasons you shouldn't retire. Ever.

It's classic click-bait because it pushes a contrarian opinion as something you should not do and cites several enumerated and poorly-referenced 'facts' to support the conclusion given in the title. Here Ms. Singletary uses two of the most classic click-bait techniques; she enumerates her facts (Three reasons...) and frames it as an absolute ('Ever.") Even the sources she cite don't support the claims the title makes. A less click-bait title might be: Working past 65 yields some benefits, research shows.

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 568
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2018, 09:40:49 AM »

Another waste of time.   swampviz didn't disappoint.

Glad to see that haters hate ...

You do seem to post a lot of click bait and repeat posts.... and you possibly dont respond a lot (though maybe i am wrong)... tends to give the appearance of a troll... something to think about.

In fairness, i based that on just noticing a few recent posts, so maybe i am out of place...
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 11:14:04 AM by Case »

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6811
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2018, 10:21:59 AM »
Funny how there aren't any article telling the rich to get to work or risk dying.

I think that this is the key point, and I'm happy to see this level of insight coming from relatively low-count posters we haven't heard from much.  Please, contribute more!

Yes, the correlation between working longer and living longer needs to be carefully evaluated for causation.  I would argue that people who aren't healthy enough to work can't delay retirement, not that people who do delay retirement are healthier, even though those to things generate the same correlation.  I also think it's important to look at exactly what age range we're talking about here.  I suspect the age/health correlation is based on observations of people 60-65 years old, and doesn't include a representative sampling of 35 year old retirees.

But as Moustachienne pointed out, there does appear to be a visible undercurrent of classism involved in these sorts of pieces.  Remember that we've always had a rentier class, people who were born financially independent for various reasons, and no one has ever encouraged them to go become bricklayers or secretaries so that they can be healthier.  They are assumed to be able to pursue their own self interest without the need to be bossed around by someone.  Since when is servitude a requirement for happiness and health? 

I agree that it's good to find purpose in your life, to find a way to stay busy and engaged so that you don't become an alcoholic or a hermit.  Historically, the rentier class has solved the problem with fancy social obligations like charity balls, or overseeing the growth of their regal estates with gardens and fountains and stables and such.  They may have massaged noblesse oblige to include things that personally benefited them, like supporting artists and musicians, but they still held onto some kernel of responsibility for their communities.

Retaining that position of power, however, requires that most of the people in that community are not financially independent.  They still need bricklayers and secretaries, and gardeners and stable hands, to keep the community running smoothly.  Like any privileged class, they had strong incentive to prevent too many people from abandoning those economically productive jobs to live off of the profits of others, and so I would expect articles like this "3 reasons you shouldn't retire" one to be a pretty common sentiment from that class.  "Don't save!  Don't invest!  Don't be like me!  I need servants!"

Money is a tool, right?  It's just an arbitrary accounting system, not a real thing, but it confers real control because it allows you to direct the work of other people to your benefit.  Mow my lawn, repair my mansion, cook me dinner, wash my feet.  I will transfer imaginary units of value to you if you do real work for me in the here and now.  Never mind where or how I got those imaginary units of value (but I certainly didn't work for them), all that matters is that I claim to have many of them due to my social status and that you desperately need more of them because of yours.  Sounds pretty fucked up, right?

EnjoyIt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 933
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2018, 10:43:57 AM »
I believe that those who die soon after retirement had more to do with them retiring because they were unhealthy and died shortly later or those whose sole identity in life has been their work.  Without that identity they turn into unhealthy depressed sloths who eventually fade away. 

Lucky for most of us who participate on this forum, work is not our identity and we have other hobbies and interest that will get us out of our lazy boy and enjoy what the world has to offer.

By all accounts of the retirement police I will likely never retire since I do not think siping Coronas on the beach 24/7 is "the good life." I will likely continue to have hobbies that may or may not produce some income.

John Galt incarnate!

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2018, 02:10:59 PM »



3. People who work longer tend to be healthier.

Causality needs to be established, and hasn't been. 70 year old people tend to be retired. 35 year old people tend to work. 70 year old people tend to have health issues. 35 year old people tend to be healthy. People who are unhealthy tend to be unable to work as long as healthy people. Healthy people tend to be able to work longer. None of that implies that working is what causes people to have better health. They're just statements that correlate.

How revealing it will  be   when the telomeres of younger and older retirees  are compared.

Will the  50ish retirees  have telomeres in better condition than those of employees who didn't  retire until they were 65?

Time will tell.

Johnez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 792
  • Location: Southern California
Re: article: Three reasons you shouldn’t retire. Ever.
« Reply #26 on: Today at 10:53:46 AM »

3. People who work longer tend to be healthier.

Causality needs to be established, and hasn't been. 70 year old people tend to be retired. 35 year old people tend to work. 70 year old people tend to have health issues. 35 year old people tend to be healthy. People who are unhealthy tend to be unable to work as long as healthy people. Healthy people tend to be able to work longer. None of that implies that working is what causes people to have better health. They're just statements that correlate.

The study that the author is referenceing was conducted on people over the age of 50. Yes, 35 year olds are healthier, no doubt but the study seems to have accounted for this obvious fact. The exact claim regarding people working longer tending to be healthier is that people working past age 65 tend to have a lower chance of death than those who didn't. The problem I have with the study is that I'm not sure if they figured out if the healthier people simply kept working, skewing the numbers, while the unhealthy retired and dropped dead ater. Basically the "survival bias" at work, literally.

People bash work as purpose around here, but I get it. Some families aren't healthy. My SO is feeling quite isolated due to zero extended family support with the kids and the lack of interaction with other adults. Work, and before that school, brought a constant influx of people in our lives. Being social creatures, this makes a lot of us happy and healthy. Strange for some to consider, but seeing my SO go through the sudden change gives a bit of perspective. Yes she gets out. The library, parks, and grocery don't make up for what she got before though.