Tuesday, August 3

Why you should not work all your life

This post is specially dedicated to my friend Wenny, who has recently posted an entry about deciding between retiring early or starting a business with a friend.

Singapore's reowned Lee Kwan Yew recently gave his opinion that there should be no retirement age. There was quite a buzz over the internet forums over this statement. To be fair to Mr Lee, I think his comments had good intentions, given how the old are generally snubbed by most companies in Singapore.

Anyway, this guy called Tan Kok Tim submitted his commentary to Today, Singapore's free newspapers. And he quoted 2 studies that showed that Mr Lee's comments are not advisable for health.

I have (shamelessly) copied an excerpt of the article to save myself from parahrasing them.


Japanese Nobel Laureate Dr Leo Esaki once spoke on the relationship between longevity and retirement age. He revealed that the pension funds in many large companies such as AT&T, Boeing, Lockheed, Lucent, and so on, are overfunded as many who retire at the age of 65, usually die within two years of retirement.

Separately, Dr Ephrem Cheng of the University of Alberta did an actuarial study of lifespan versus age at retirement, based on the number of pension cheques sent to Boeing Aerospace retirees. It found that staff who retire at the age of 50 had an average lifespan of 86. Those who retire at the age of 65 live to an average age of just 66.8.

This study concludes that for every year a person works beyond the age of 55, he lives an average of two years less.


Often, we hear people who want to work as long as possible to stay senile. Well, there are many ways to stay senile, like doing volunteer work, bonding with the family, or picking up new skills that does not cause stress.

If I had a choice, I will retire as early as I can. With the high inflation in Singapore, it's becoming increasingly impossible though. I used to joke that I want to buy a plot of land in Malaysia to grow crops when I get old. Maybe I should seriously consider that proposition!

And to my friend Wenny, I think you made the right choice. Enjoy life to the fullest, don't stress yourself out.

Source: TodayOnline: retire early, live longer


Ai Shiang said...

I don't think I want to retire even if I can. Doing nothing really isn't good for the brain.

Anonymous said...

If I can, I wish to retire now. Even though I am nowhere near retirement age. I once told a friend and she was shocked. The reason being I am just so tired of the corporate world and the crap in the workplace.

I want to retire and work in a self sustaining farm. And enjoy photography on the sideline.

iamthewitch said...

I would want to retire early too! But I don't think I would wanna plant crops! LOL!

Netster said...

In my opinion if we keep ourselves active.. we live longer.

wenn said...

i hv retired fr stressful teaching life n now i'm working at my husband's shop.

the girl in stiletto said...

i'd retire from medical field early. full stop :)

HappySurfer said...

I read that Lee Kuan Yew article though not everything is realistic or possible for the common man. MM's lucky he's in good health or perhaps his medical bills are probably taken care of as well as he gets a good salary?

I think it'd be better if employees have the choice to either stay on or retire at say 55 for ladies and 60/62 for men? I suppose the issue here is somehow related to the CPF withdrawal. No? My two cents, of course.

khengsiong said...

Ephrem Cheng's study is interesting.

But then there may be other factors at play. Perhaps those who retire early belong to the higher-ranked staff while those who retire late are menial workers.

MKL said...

I'll work as long as I can, I guess. I don't think our pensions will be worth much in 2050.

mrdes said...

"I used to joke that I want to buy a plot of land in Malaysia to grow crops when I get old." Haha...I used to have somehow a familiar thought...but no internet access how?

Wenny Yap said...

Thank you so so so much Uncle Shingo T for your interesting points and supported research. I have to totally agree with you and that's why I've turned down my friend's offer. Sad for him sad for me coz the opportunity couldn't get started without me but we've got to move on.

Anyhow, I'm still learning the curves to a retired life ... sometimes fun, sometimes exciting but sometimes can be boring. Just as Nester said, keep ourselves active is the key to staying healthy and live long. I'm doing that now, so much so I sometimes think I've got too much in the basket ... hehehe!

End of the day, if we're happy doing whatever we're doing, including working for others ... it's definitely healthy as long as we maintain moderation and balance. Everyone should refer to this 30-sec speech at http://dreadfully-dull.blogspot.com/2010/08/30-sec0nd-speach.html.

Btw Mrdes, having a plot of land in Malaysia does not nnecessary mean no internet access. Malaysia isn't that backward duh.

Stefanie said...

Thanks for sharing the information. I gotta study hard in order to get a nice job after graduated. Therefore I can fully take care of them in coming years, hope the parents and uncle don't need to work for so long.

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