Thinking of Retirement...

SOMEONE is thinking to retire early and says:

"I am thinking of retirement… Though, it is still several years away before I reach the mandatory retirement age of sixty five (65). I am planning to travel, play chess, write, paint and read great books about Rizal and other famous authors.

But, my very hectic schedule prevents me from doing what I really like to do. I got to earn a living and practically be at the office from 8 to 5. With a forty (40) hour work week, it is really difficult to find the time. Having a schedule to do those things you really like is better said than done.

We are aware of the saying that: when you are young, you have your health and time but without wealth; when you are in the middle of your career, you have health and wealth, but not time; and when you retire, you have wealth and time, but your health is no longer there.

When I was just a student in college, I got all the time in the world specially during Christmas and semestral breaks. I have a lot of friends who are very much excited to travel. We have all the time to see and discover the world. We were also physically fit. The only thing that prevented us from traveling is the lack of money.

We were all dependent on our parents’ financial support. Since we belong to a family of the struggling middle class, any amount is a budget only for the essentials – tuition, school uniform, books and for school supplies. Having new clothes means its Christmas time. It is very rare that I have an extra amount for travel even to Rizal Park and to Intramuros. Tagaytay at that time seems so far away!

After getting that college diploma and landing that sought after job, I finally had some form of financial independence. While my pay is barely enough to keep me afloat, it can be stretched in such a manner that there could be something left for traveling. But, I do not have the time! I am buried in endless reports, projects that must be accomplished on or before the deadline. It is only during those times that I got to attend out of town seminars, conference and conventions that I am able to travel.

I recall that during a side trip after a seminar in Cebu, I and some of the participants took a quick trip to Bohol. At the Chocolate Hills, where one has to climb hundreds of steps to reach the top of the hill, I saw some foreign and local tourists who are already senior citizens. They got off a very beautiful tourist bus. Most of them, however, need someone to aid them in climbing the hill and see the famous view. I can even remember seeing someone who because of old age can no longer manage the climb despite assistance.

Life is indeed ironic! At the latter part of life, it is only then that we would have the time and money to travel. But, how can you enjoy the trip when your youth has already disappeared? There is no fountain of youth that can be bought with all the money from retirement. After all the years spent in the company, the question is – is it worth it? When you are busy, it is easy to forget those things that really matters in life. We often take for granted those that are really important.

Life has to be enjoyed to the fullest and that bucket list fulfilled at the soonest time possible! I am just stuck earning a living… And like most of those that are of similar situation as I am, it is difficult to have the time while at the same time trying to survive. What happens inevitably is that health or a sound mind and body is an investment to earn money. Money of course cannot be earned without spending time.

This endless pattern of not having the time, health and wealth at every stage of life makes me think of retiring early. Perhaps, it is not a good idea to retire at sixty five (65) when youth is already gone. At that age there is great probability of not being able to complete all the activities at the Treetop Adventure in Subic. It would be dangerous to ride the waves in Baler, Quezon. Biking, hiking and swimming can only be accomplished with great effort.

I know that history is replete with people over the age of sixty five that were able to perform spectacular feat despite their age. Yet, everything would be different however once the body ages. The usual agility and endurance found in the young pursuant to the natural order of things would diminish by time. There is that biological clock that every human being has to contend with.

Retiring early is one good option that every office worker should consider. I really think that staying in the office and getting incarcerated in a cubicle until you reach the age of sixty five requires serious evaluation. Perhaps, the best thing to do when young and employed is continuously paying oneself. Thereafter, retire at the earliest possible opportunity. It is really not a good idea to retire at sixty five!"

And I think, he has a point...

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