Friday, October 29, 2010

62? 65? 68?

Am I surprised about the news that they intend to raise the retirement age to 68? Nope. I sort of expected this when I read that Europe is intending to raise their retirement age. Other than what the news has mentioned about Finland, Britain is also intending to raise their retirement age (for men) to 68 from 65 years of age.

However, one important point was missing from the news article. The reason for the other countries' decision to raise their retirement ages is because of *drum roll* their pension funds. So what's our reason? Our pension funds? What pension funds?

All this talk on raising of retirement ages and working as long as you can is all based on one big assumption. We all enjoy our work and will like to continue working as long as possible. This is really a big assumption. Are all of us happy at work? How many of us drag ourselves to work everyday? How many of us look at our retirement as an end goal when we go to work?

Not all of us are able to find work that matches what we like to do. For example, if I choose to play classical guitar for a living, will I survive in Singapore? Not very likely. However, will I play guitar as long as I can? Yes I will.

There is a mismatch in expectations. We're expected to work longer because Singapore depends on human capital for its growth. The prices of goods and services are also rising faster than our salary due to the "productivity" drive. As a result, we become more stressed at work and work longer hours to "do more with less". What does that result in? Lesser babies. I've written about this in another post here.

Some people will of course ask, where is the proof? Where is the connection? I just ask a very simple question. Do you have the mood for intimacy if you're stressed up?

This leads to a vicious cycle where the number of elderly people will soon surpass the number of younger folks. Lesser people working will lead to lower taxes and consumption which results in lesser jobs. Solution? Easy way which most are taking is to redefine the definition of elderly. 60 considered as old? No no. 62. 65. 68. They will keep increasing the retirement age. The not so easy way? Innovation that will allow different industries to do things differently, and in a more efficient manner. For example, look at how Android helped Motorola.

All this talk on increasing retirement age is valid and achievable, if and only if, innovation is encouraged in all the different types of industries, and there is no need for people to switch industries to chase after the latest "trend". People can choose to work in areas that they are interested in, and yet able to make a living. When you're working on things that you're interested in, it's more likely that you'll be able to enjoy your work, leading to a reduction in stress levels. It's also more likely that innovation happens when you're doing things that you're interested in.

Anyway, productivity doesn't help you do more with less. Innovation does.

1 comment:

Rhinestic said...

Maybe they shd change the clients' mindset

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...