Friday, 30 August 2013

Retirement - The Second Innings

As soon as you complete 60 years you are to retire from the job & earn the title of Senior Citizen. You may be physically & mentally fit for continuation in that job but you don’t have an option to continue because of laws, rules & service conditions. In some organisations the age limit has been raised to 62 but there also there is no option for job holder to continue.

Take other side of this issue a judge has to retire after reaching the age of 62 but not a lawyer who may continue for another decade or so. Similarly a professor of medicine has to retire at 62-65 but a practicing doctor may continue for another ten years or so. Industry or business owners have no such compulsion. And let’s not mention the politicians.

Practice in other countries

Unlike ancient Vedic classification of life of a hundred years into four sections of 25 years each, the modern classification of ‘retirement’ originated in Germany in 1889. Several countries have since made retirement policies depending upon average life expectancy, medical facilities & general earning levels of employees etc. Generally life expectancy is more in developed countries & so is the retirement age. As per UNDP report of 2011 in India highest life expectancy is in Kerala 75.8 years & lowest in MP & Chhattisgarh at 61.0.

Retirement age of some countries taken out from Wikipedia is as under:

Country               Men            Women

China                    60               50-55
Denmark              65-67          65-67
Israel                    67                62
UK                        65                60
USA                     62-67           62-67
Norway                 67                67

By 2040 retirement age in Europe is likely to be 70 due to various factors as per their newspapers reports.

Given the general health improvement, medical facilities available & longevity age of 60 appears to be in need of increase to 62 - 65 in India also. But this is wishful thinking. Social, political & economic considerations have led to the idea of retiring an expensive senior & giving employment to a youngster. Population is too big to have unrest as 65% of Indian population is said to be under 35 years of age.

Second Innings

After retiring & earning the title of a Senior Citizen what do you do - proceed for Sanyas? You are not eligible there as prescribed age is 75. Then what about Vanprastha? Here you are late as it begins at the age of 50! And where are the jungles to proceed to & live as Vanprasthi?  Or now that you have retired you can say to your working colleagues:

तुम काम करते हो, मैं आराम करता हूँ !
तुम अपना काम करते हो, मैं अपना काम करता हूँ !!

But you got to take care. You better count your notes & coins & place them carefully for they are our best friends! You also take stock of your another best friend - physique from head to toe & join morning walks, jogging, laughter club, Yoga group & / or gym for physical fitness. Some change in lifestyle after the retirement is but inevitable.

Depending upon financial position & on inclination some friends have taken up full or part time jobs. Some have taken to travelling, pilgrimage, social, religious or leisure activities. Take advantage of internet & become members of social media sites & remain in touch with friends & colleagues & beat the generation gap with grown up children.
Read, write, lecture, surf, blog, travel, play, sing, act, dance, cook, walk, talk, photograph, shop, meditate – but keep the ball rolling as age is no bar! 

Keep Walking - Sea Beach, Pondicherry 

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