The advancement of retirement

If I were to return to school, I think I 'd study retirement. That probably sounds uninteresting to some of you, but I find the subject interesting. No joke: My bedtime reading recently consists of books like by Wiliam Graebner.You see, retirement is a relatively current principle. It's just really possible in rich countries with long lifespans. In 1880, over 75 %of American guys older than 64 remained in the workforce. They desired to work. Work was proof of vitality and productivity. It provided people purpose. Plus, the majority of folks needed the money.One century back, retirement was thought about undesirable, something to be prevented. A 24 January 1903 post in the Saturday Review summarized the prevailing mindset:" Men avoid willingly dedicating themselves to an act which simulates the forced lack of exercise of death." In time,"obligatory retirement"became a big social problem. Unemployment was high. Older

people were holding on to tasks that more youthful folks desired-- and might do much better. The question ended up being:"What shall we make with our old? "That's the title of a 1911 film about this pressing issue.This fourteen-minute silent brief from< a href = > D.W. Griffith, the"daddy of film

", is melodramatic and heavy-handed by modern-day requirements.(And s-l-o-w.)But it demonstrates just how popular this argument was in American society.In time, our perception of retirement changed. With the mix of rising wages, the personal pensions, and government assistance programs (such as Social Security), the preconception associated with retirement faded. In truth, retirement became viewed as preferable. Think about these numbers from The Development of Retirement by Dora L. Costa: As I discussed previously, over 75%of males over 64 remained in the labor force in 1880. By 1900, that number haddropped to about 65 %. By 1950, just 47%of men over 64 continued to work.By. 1998, fewer than 20 %of males over 64 were

  • in the labor force.In the 1980s, the mandatory retirement policies that had been adopted as main
  • law and/or informal policy started to be deemed inequitable and were eliminated.(

I'm brushing over the link because last sentence, but if this subject interests you, you should follow it.)Today, things are complicated. You 'd think that with the abolition of obligatory retirement policies, more older people would opt to continue working. To some degree, they have. But not as many as I would expect. (In 2010, 22% of guys over 64 decided to work.)A few of these people work since they have to, naturally, due to the fact that they require the cash in order to make it through. Some work due to the fact that they want to.But I believe that after a century of social pressure to think about retirement both a social and personal positive, most of us see retirement as an objective we wish to attain, not something we want to prevent

. I think the idealization of retirement is the driving force behind today's very popular FI/RE movement.(FI/RE stands for" monetary independence/retire early", in case you run out the loop.)In 1917, nobody desired to retire. Individuals wanted to work as long as they could. Today, youths-- and hey, I are among them-- are eager to retire as soon as possible!What does retirement suggest to you!.?.!? Is it a

desirable thing? Something to be prevented? How do your attitudes towards retirement differ from those of your parents and, particularly, your grandparents? [See also: The history of the early retirement movement at Early Retirement Dude]