Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

The benefits and drawbacks of retirement in America

Regarding the Jan. 14 article, "Welcome to retirement. Now what?": I am now in my fourth year of retirement, and I still struggle with the question, "Should I have taken early retirement?" Articles such as this assure me that I did the right thing.

In retirement, I have traveled to places where I would have never traveled before, and I learned Portuguese. I now have three part- time jobs that keep me connected, contributing something to society, give me a little extra money (which I really don't need), and give me great flexibility. Every day is different.

I particularly liked the part about passing the baton and people who say they'll never retire because they love their job too much.

I agree, these people are afraid of change and, let's face it, change is scary.

I can think of nothing sadder than being forced to retire because of ill health. That's no way to start a new phase of your life filled with endless possibilities.

James May Milwaukee

Regarding the Jan. 14 article on retirement: Someone may have the financial ability to "retire" at 52, but what does it mean? What is society's takeaway when someone says they have retired at a productive point in their life? How is it different from a lottery winner who says he retired at 32?

I'm troubled by the use of the word "retirement." It's anchored with images of people fishing, traveling, and living carefree lives.

I don't think the baby-boom generation will "retire" as much as it will career-shift and move in directions that may have more risk and less financial reward as, for example, in starting a business. But these are no less challenging than the careers that retirees developed in their younger years.

We need to jettison the use of the word "retirement."

In these stories, it is important to recognize that many people won't be able to shift careers easily because their financial goals were not reached.

How many workers have paid pensions, or have lost homes by foreclosure, or are lacking 401(k) plans that can deliver security? …

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