Are You REALLY Going to Retire? Some Thoughts on Why You Shouldn’t!


I live in a world that is always talking about retirement, the education system.  Most teachers put in their time, retire and start a second career.  Now, I’m not insinuating that educators just work for their retirement.  In fact, I know many teachers who could retire, but they love what they do so they continue on.  However, the fact is that retirement usually always comes up from year to year, usually at the beginning of the year.

Retirement also comes up in the mainstream.  With our aging Baby Boomer generation and the current financial situation, everyone knows that Social Security and other government programs won’t be able to keep up.  The system is dependent on more workers to pay into the system to cover the costs of the retired and senior citizens.

As the economic situation becomes more dire, the government will either have to cut back on benefits, which many won’t like, or they will have to print more, which devalues the funds retired people do get which doesn’t buy what is used to buy.  Recent violent protests have happened in foreign countries because of austerity measures that should be implemented because of government benefits that are becoming too costly.

But in reality, retirement is a fairly new trend, as far as world history goes.  And it really became a necessity when big business needed to move the slower, not as healthy, older worker out for the younger, faster, healthier worker.

“Retirement came in very handy in the United States, where large numbers of aging factory workers were wandering around the Industrial Revolution, dropping things into the works, slowing down assembly lines, taking too many personal days and usurping the places of younger, more productive men with families to support. It was one thing when an occasional superannuated farmer leaned on his hoe in an agrarian culture — a few bales of hay more or less didn’t matter. But it was quite another when lots of old people caused great unemployment among younger workers by refusing to retire. The Great Depression made the situation even worse. It was a Darwinian sacrificial moment. Retirement was a necessary adaptation and everybody knew it, but the old guys were not going quietly. The toughest among them refused to quit, even when plant managers turned up the conveyor belts to Chaplinesque speeds.”

Source: This History of Retirement

So instead of losing money on employees, big business decided to pay them off.  Where did the idea start, California!  But the Federal government couldn’t stand by and let CA take all the credit, FDR got into the act and…. Social Security was born…

By 1935, it became evident that the only way to get old people to stop working for pay was to pay them enough to stop working. A Californian, Francis Townsend, initiated a popular movement by proposing mandatory retirement at age 60. In exchange, the Government would pay pensions of up to $200 a month, an amount equivalent at the time to a full salary for a middle-income worker. Horrified at the prospect of Townsend’s radical generosity, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Social Security Act of 1935, which made workers pay for their own old-age insurance.

Source: This History of Retirement

So basically, retirement was a way for others to say, “get out of the way!  You’re slow and not valuable anymore!”  Well, I’m not really wanting to go out that way!  I want to work and be of value till the day I die.  The key though, is not to be involved with big business!

Plans and Attitude for Old Age

I don’t want to depend on my money in old age being tied up in the stock market.  I know of people who lost 1/2 of their retirements in the stock market when the stock market crashed in 08.  They panicked, moved it and didn’t get it back when the stock market went back up again.  The stock market is very volatile.  Many say that we can’t experience another uptick like we had this century.  I’m not saying that it is a bad thing to have some money in the stock market, I just don’t want to depend on it for my old age.  I want to have resources available to me.  I want to have tangibles.  I don’t want to have to depend on a big huge chunk of change!

Of course, you do need money, at least if you want to live in the real world.  So, there must be a way for someone who is retired, to continue to make money and not count on the stock market, the government, or even in the banks.  This is where the “wisdom” of old age can kick in and help.

Retired people have skills and abilities and know how to use them.  They might not be the most fit or the most healthy, of course, that is relative to who you are talking to, but they have knowledge.  I really believe that those that are in retirement or entering into retirement, really need to start preparing for what and how they will continue to contribute to their finances.   That’s what I plan to do.  I might not be able to lift like I can now.  I might not be able to work long hours outside, but I will be able to work.

The Family Factor

This brings me to another topic that should be considered.  In the past, the family unit was closer to each other, if not on the same  property and land.  Today, families can be spread out all over the world and only see each other on holidays.  I believe that as the economy gets tighter, families should think about this.  You should be there for your parents.  You should be there for your kids.

I know that there are many out there who just can’t stand to be under the same roof with family for too long.  Why?  It used to not be so?  Maybe it’s a “me” attitude or a respect thing.  But I can see only benefits from being close to my family.  Yes, there might be times when we need breathers from each other, but doesn’t everyone?  I don’t know…maybe it’s all in the way you were raised.

Am I Really Going to Retire?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t plan on retiring the way the normal American thinks about retiring today.  I’m not going to draw money from my IRA, worry if I’m going to have enough till I die, sit in front of the TV waiting to for my jello to harden up in the refrigerator.  I’m going to stay active, resourceful and relevant.  I’ll plan out my garden, hopefully raise chickens and continue to be a resource to others.

What do you think?  I would really like to here from some retired folks…or some in retirement age who are bucking the system!


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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15 thoughts on “Are You REALLY Going to Retire? Some Thoughts on Why You Shouldn’t!

  1. Donna Brown

    I agree with you about families being close. I help my parents, both 77, every day. They live 9 feet away in their own little house next to mine. When my dad had to retire due to his rheumatoid arthritis, I asked them to move here where I live. I knew none of my siblings would care for them. My 4 kids all live within 20 miles of home. If I need help, I just call and one of them or their spouses come calling. My husband & I have our 2 oldest grandchildren on a daily basis, they go to school from here and come back in the afternoon, until a parent gets off work. It doesn’t work for everyone, but for my family, being close and helping out is a way of life.

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author


      I would have to love a similar setup, with enough property to have some animals and garden. I would also like the ability to build a studio apartment for my boys of the economy continued to tank and they needed a place to stay… at least not in the house! 😉 But, I would need to win the lottery for this dream!


  2. Tony

    I am fixing to hit 55, I wish I could retire now, but I think I will wait till age 59-1/2 so I don’t get hit as hard on Taxes and Penalties on my 401k.

    I think I will look deeper into all the aspects of retiring at that time. I will be paying off two vehicles around that time and possibly my Home.

    I think Health care insurance, and Medicine will be 2 big issue’s, being I am diabetic, and Grocery’s, Home, auto Insurance and Property Taxes will be other issue’s as well.

    I would like to Bicycle Back Pack across the U.S. I hope my Health will be good at that time.

  3. Catherine

    I will be 67 in a few days, but “retirement” isn’t on the schedule! My health is pretty decent, the only meds I take are aspirin for my achy knees, and I work every day. Being self-employed really helps! People always need their clothes mended or altered and presents made. I tell people that I will probably drop over at the sewing machine. But I am doing what I love and am good at, still taking care of grandkids and prepping in my spare time. I don’t have time to retire!

  4. Don_in_Odessa

    Sixty three and can’t afford to retire. Healthcare costs, bad luck in the economy as well as some less than wise decisions, all happening at the worse possible times in our financial life will probably mean I work till I drop. I am fortunate to be self employed. So, I will probably slow down at some point and only keep my least stressful, most profitable accounts. But that day is still pretty far off.

    We garden, raise chickens and and cultivate an aquaponics system raising Tilapia. Those things with a healthy food preservation habit will keep us fed as long as we can keep up the mortgage and the neighbors don’t turn feral.

  5. Bubba

    580 days till I retire and yes I’ll go.
    Go find another job!
    The postoffice is pressure cooker ready
    to blow!
    Crazy managers quoting made up numbers.
    Unrealistic expectations.
    Carriers working till 9:00 PM
    72 hour work weeks.
    Customers yelling about service.(and their right ya know)
    Pit bulls chewing on my leg.
    Report an on the job injury and get a 14 day paper suspension.(no time off)
    I’ve had It, not the place I use to work.
    Where the most important was doing a good job!

    1. PJ


      Congrats on staying as long as you have. Personally I think the USPS is a d@amn joke. Shut the entire organization down and save the taxpayers the money, privatize all mail. Come to think of it, can’t think of any useful mail I’ve gotten in the last few months anyways.

      I stood in line at the post office for 30 minutes the other day while 1 worker behind the desk moved at the speed of pond water. The line never seemed to move, and there were no materials (supplies) which to fill out items. When I finally got to the counter I needed to write my address on the envelope. “Step to the side sir so I can help the next person.”

      I had to contain myself. Worthless employee of a mostly worthless organization.

  6. storm

    47 and on plan for 55 but no sense of punching out that early if I can tap my giant corporation for additional stock options. I have very little faith we will see stability in 8-10 years. If market adjusts and gov defaults, we will all be working for ourselves and our families.

  7. r g boyington

    I am 60 years old and started collecting my pension this year. Retired from vocational education after 21 years and the number of reasons I could give for being happy to be gone would fill a book.(Any current teachers with 5 or more years experience will know what I am talking about.) I live in Illinois which has the worst retirement funding of all 50 states. I had no intention of waiting for the system to go broke so I could collect little or nothing. But,,,,, (long pause) just because I am collecting a pension does not mean I do nothing. I worked in the field I taught before going into education, kept current on my skills, and after retiring started doing business doing what I know best. (I am still paying into SS). I disagree with the major premise of this post because you should grab for what you can get while you can get it. (You payed for it.) In conclusion Todd, yes retirement is a fairly new idea in the history of the human race but before Social Security employees and employers were not paying large portions of their income to the government.

  8. PJ

    Pensions / Retirement / 401k etc etc. Haven’t been around that long and probably won’t be much longer. The 401k system is a joke and tied into the same fraudulent market that most other pensions are. If you are depending on that for long term sustainability….good luck.

  9. canadagal

    I retired at 64, hubby at 70. We are now 73 & 79. We raise almost all of our fruit & veg. We tap some maples & cut our fire wood plus a little to sell. We do a lot of community work as well. It is good to remain active and providing for some of our needs. It brings self esteem & happiness. Some folks we know just sit in front of the TV & feel worthless. Not where we want to be. We get great joy in teaching grandchildren how to can fruit, make jam, operate a riding mower, use a saw, etc. when they come in the summer holidays. So even if your job is the pits & you can’t wait to get out do learn to provide some food or a paying hobby so you can look after yourself if times are tough. Life is good when you are busy.

  10. Nursiedear

    I plan to work 9+ more years until I am 66 1/2. It was easier back in the day because most folks were self employed, and could set their hours as they aged. Even though my health is good, the toll working 10 hours a day is not something I want to do in my 70’s. The thought of working there another 9+ years makes me want to run down the road screaming as it is. But I make good money, and will have a decent pension. I plan to work my little homestead, and do the things I enjoy. We are taking steps now to be as self-sufficient as possible.

    As far as taking care of our parents, remember that the women used to work at home, so caring for the elderly was part of their job. My siblings and I do the best we can considering we all work outside the home. When my grandmother was alone after my grandfather’s death, she lived with my parents, but Daddy had retired by then, and my parents were always available. My grandmother was a dear lady, easy to live with. We helped care for my in-laws, who lived near by, until their health declined to the point that they required skilled nursing. My father had Alzheimer’s. We took care of him at home until the last three months of his life. My mother is the only parent we have left. She is losing her vision. My nearest sister and I both live in the country over 10 miles away. If she lived with us she would be isolated from her friends as she would be alone all day without transportation. She has the money to live in independent living where there is an active social group, and she has transportation to her usual activities. We check on her by phone during the week, and spend time with her on the weekend. Also, we love our spouses, and I can guarantee you that a week living with my mother would drive our spouses away. We love her, but she is so difficult- not her mother’s child in temperament. Having said that, my oldest daughter and I have already started making plans to pool resources and share property after my husband and I retire. I work hard to be more like my grandmother…

  11. Tim


    Completely agree with your plan. In my last book (How To Make Money Homesteading) I devoted the last chapter to homesteading as a retirement plan. The premise is the same that you are espousing, in other words to live off the land and continue working to feed/work your mind and body.

    You are correct that retirement is a recent concept, and a strange one at that. Sadly, most people will feel that they don’t have the resources or time to embrace homesteading (or preparedness, for that matter), so they will remain on the treadmill…until employers decide to kick them off. When that happens and when the promised pensions and benefits are terminated, severe hardship will ensue.

    Keep up the great work on our blog. I enjoy it.


  12. Bill

    I’ll be 61 soon. I’ve been a builder/carpenter for 40 years. We live debt free and have for many years. My body can’t take many more years. Maybe a couple. I’m guessing I’ll never really retire but I do look forward to working only when I want. Maybe 20 hours a week or some such thing. Who knows what the world will be like in a couple years. We avoid banks and the stock market. My wife, God bless her, talked me into putting all our 401k’s into metals back in 07. Best move we ever made. We’ve been blessed. Retirement is for the wealthy.

  13. Doug Smith

    We retired in ’09 And travelled 4½ months in our motorhome. Then we both went back to work. My wife, as an R.N. worked at a clinic, and I got a part time job delivering cars for Enterprise.
    The nest summer we again spent 4½ months in the motorhome, but ‘work camped” at a premium campground.
    Upon returning, we both went back to work again. Wife finally did really quit her paid job, but I continue to work part time, and probably will as long as I’m able.

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