Wednesday 24 December 2003

More opportunities for irrelevance abound

Between retiring and having a new lease
I bought my apartment from a couple in their 70s who in turn were purchasing a comfortable retirement apartment in Arnhem by the Dutch Rhine. Four years earlier, they had come up to Amsterdam buying this apartment whilst it was still a drawing plan, having lived in Eindhoven for 25 years.
Not many people buy a new house in their 70s, one knows of none other who has done that twice in their 70s. More so, they could easily have retired in Eindhoven and lived out their lives there having lived there for 25 years already.
The couple might have been in their 70s, but they were young, youthful, young at adventure, given to opportunity for change and getting themselves a new lease of life when many of their peers were wasting away in idle retirement.
I want to be a 70 year old who has purpose, who is relevant and can still do things people half my age do and possibly do it all better.
Early retirement
In the last two decades middle managers arranged to take early retirement at around 55, however with an average life expectancy of 75, one wonders what the next 20 years would be spent doing. Golf and travel eventually take their toll on enthusiasm, a life of leisure does not equate to being relevant apart from being useful baby-sitting grand parents.
As we have all noted with the pensions crisis in Europe, we apparently cannot afford to retire before 70. Each individual now has 70 reasons to alter the course of their lives and careers to suit working until 70.
The fight against irrelevance has never been bloodier with youth, technology, globalisation, business practise and trends leaving the unprepared behind in the land of wasted dreams.
More so, it appears those in their 20s have at least 50 years of working life ahead of them, they had better be on the right train or as certain as taxes and death, irrelevance would overtake them and consign them to the scrapheap.
Strong reasons to be reasonable
Take account of your age and have a reason for each number of years to remain relevant.
At birth, you may have no reasons for anything, but even you have to draw sharp breaths to live, to cry and survive.
At 5, you might have 5 reasons why you want that present.
At 10, you might have 5 reasons why you want to stay in this school and 5 given to you about the need to go to another.
At 15, you possibly have 15 reasons to rebel against authority and do your own thing.
At 20, there are 20 reasons to realise you are becoming independent and are taking on some responsibilities.
At 25, there are 25 reasons to succeed and excel at all costs and possibly start a family.
At 30, there are 30 reasons to wonder if you are in the right career, if your dreams are getting fulfil and the weight of responsibility is easy or stressful.
At 35, there are 35 reasons for a life-audit and the same number for where you want to be at 40.
At 40 and beyond
At 40, there are 40 reasons why do you do not want to have a mid-life crises because of what you have done at 30.
At 45, there are 45 reasons why if you are beginning to feel out of place, you have to rethink some reasons you had at 35 before you reach 50.
At 50, there are 50 reasons to be at the pinnacle of your career and the beginning of a new one of mentoring to remain relevant.
At 55, there are 55 reasons to be a grandparent and the same not to be a young parent, with great concern if you are already a great-grandparent. However, there are still 15 years before retirement, how are you doing?
At 60, there are 60 reasons to earn all the accolades working a 2-day week for as much as you earned working a 12-day week in your 30s. You should be during really well and grooming a successor. Enjoy the next 10 years or else there would be 70 reasons why you did not have the reasons for every time you had the opportunity to reason.
One probably has 38 reasons for working on the changes to remain relevant.

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