Older, healthier and working: Britons say no to retirement | Society | The Observer

This is a thoughtful and interesting article from the Guardian/Observer. It’s STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for a read, in my view. Check it out!

Older, healthier and working: Britons say no to retirement | Society | The Observer.

There are still lots of taboos and sensitivities about older people but it’s necessary to face up to the economic and social realities.

The percentage of the older “indigenous population” in many countries will grow alarmingly over coming decades. Apart from shifting the older people overseas, like Germany for example, the only way that the balance of younger people will be preserved will be with continued large scale immigration.

Because of UK Government policy under the previous Labour Government, many retiring peoples’ pension pots are much smaller than envisioned. More widely, Western governments have struggled with the political complexities of adjusting pension policies to reflect the changing domographics.

So older people, will typically have smaller savings and pensions, so they are faced with real decisions:

  • Turn to their family?
  • Turn to the state?
  • Turn to themselves?

Of course, as the article describes, there are many older people who will be delighted to continue working, given the chance, but this fails to address the vast majority. Surely, the vast majority will be not have the skills, competence, stamina, and health to continue working?

Let me turn this around to an open question:

How should Government policy change to give older people a greater chance of working in their later years, addressing issues of skills, competence, stamina and health?

Any thoughts?


Retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

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How Our Grandparents Became Our Enemies – Blagovesta Nikolova – Social Europe Journal

English: Headquarters of the Bulgarian Academy...

English: Headquarters of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, corner fragment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tibet: An elderly Tibetan women holding a pray...

Tibet: An elderly Tibetan women holding a prayer wheel on the Lhasa’s pilgrimage circuit of Barkhor. The Barkhor, a quadrangle of streets that surrounds the Jokhang Temple, is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial district for Tibetans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This is an excellent, MUST READ article by Blagovesta Nikolova, published in Social Europe Journal.

via How Our Grandparents Became Our Enemies.

Here is the bio description of Ms. Nikolova:

Blagovesta Nikolova is a Research Assistant in the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She has recently defended her doctoral dissertation on the transformation of foresight in contemporary knowledge societies.

Personally, I can strongly empathize with the viewpount of Ms. Nikolova. Certainly, in the UK we can see evidence of the Government challenging the political position of older people, in effect putting the old and young on a collision path; the objective, of course, is greater power for the government.

In traditional societies, of course, it is different to what is happening in many Western countries, in particular Anglo-Saxon countries. Matters are seriously aggravated by policies of excessive austerity.

Let me relate a short personal story. Last year, my wife and I visited Beijing, China, and were talking to our guide, a university graduate, about his family. His family came from the provinces and were traditionally farmers. Under various reforms, when his parents were no longer able to work, they had no source of income. So our Chinese guide was forced to support his own family, plus his parents and grandparents.

Let me turn this thread to an open question:

How can society learn more from the elderly and stop the deliberate political commodization of the elderly?

Any thoughts?

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