Retirement is history

The Sydney Morning Herald says retirement is outdated. People choose to stay employed past the age where earlier generations would have hung up their working clothes.

Older workers have long been common in hardware stores, garden centres and similar retail establishments. Grey-haired gentlemen are the best people to consult when you need help choosing the right tool for a handyman task. They can advise on how to solve handyman problems too. Older women are just as useful in their areas of expertise.

Which is important. Old-timers have a huge store of knowledge locked away in their heads. They are only too willing to pass it on but often don’t have the opportunity.

While the Sydney Morning Herald story has a nice balance of the good and bad aspects of having older people in the workforce it overlooks one significant aspect: many older people need to put off retirement for financial reasons.

Falling interest rates and stock market carnage mean carefully nurtured nest-eggs are suddenly smaller than a year or so ago and older people need work to make ends meet.