The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Thursday, April 28, 2005

Retirement...

Now I really want to know some thoughts on this. It's not a particular partisan issue, at least I don't believe it is.

Is retirement on its death bed?

Frank Robinson, the manager of the Washington Nationals baseball team, had some interesting statements at a Senate hearing regarding retirement. Robinson, who is 70, supports pushing the retirement age back because he feels like retirement is a cause of elders going "brain dead" [KC Star or Washington Post]

"I think our country has a mentality," Robinson said. "We've been taught to work toward retirement. Well, times have changed. I don't think you can throw a blanket over everybody and say, 'You should retire at 50 or retire at 60.' "

Now Robinson was speaking for himself and basically trying to help those in the senior citizen community continue to find work and get work training if they desire. But the message remains, what's going to happen to our retirement age? The majority of my audience is in the early prime years of their respective careers and this is going to be something that effects us over the next 10-20 years.

Now I remember in the 80s when retirement was supported by this community, by the government. The American Dream was to work xx amount of years and retire, living on the beach, travel, play with grandkids and die.

My parents are both retired. My father retired at 50 from the New York City transit authority after 28 years and with the exception of a few months he has worked since. My mother retired at 55 after 22 years as an accountant in New York and another 10 as an account in Florida, having a combined pension plan.

And since their retirements they've moved to the beach and traveled quite a lot, enjoying their later years in a more relaxing environment.

Where are we at in the retirement issue? Will we be able to retire? Is the pension plan dying?

It seems like the old-fashioned pension and retirement package is being overtaken by investments. Investing in stock in you work for a publicly-traded company, many are saving and investing in properties and hoping those investments pay off in the long run. It's a high-risk high-reward strategy.

Anyway I'm really interested to know if some of you support retirement, if you agree with Robinson and feel that working into your late 60s-70s is good. Also take into consideration that Robinson pulls a hefty six-figure salary for managing in Major League baseball.

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