The Chosen Lives of Childfree Men

By Patricia Lunneborg | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Early Retirement

There are signs that the early-retirement trend already may have reversed course. In 1950, nearly half of men 65 and older were still working; by 1985, just 16% were. But since then, the rate has remained flat. Many economists believe the numbers soon will begin to tick back upward.

The inescapable reality is that many boomers won't be able to afford to quit working when they hit their 60s. . . . "A lot of 50- year-olds have kids in elementary school," said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. "You talk about retirement and Arizona, and they look at you like you're from Mars." ( Patrice Apodaca, 1998, p. 2)

As many as a third of the men interviewed had thought about early retirement--some because they'd have the wherewithal, some because their occupations were ageist, some because they were looking forward to doing something different. The childfree are notorious for long-range financial planning and the desire to be debtfree, and this bunch was no exception. With the future of work shaping up as it is, if a man truly wants to retire early, he seriously should consider whether to have a child. The first interviewee tells you how.


DALE, 41, RETIRED JAGUAR MECHANIC

Dale earned his early retirement in Los Angeles where he repaired foreign cars for the wealthy. He's been married 18 years to Karen, a 38-year-old mortgage broker who works occasionally from their new home near Seattle to which they moved 2 years ago.

-75-

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The Chosen Lives of Childfree Men
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1- Not to Be a Father? 1
  • Chapter 2- Personal Development 13
  • Chapter 3- Relationships 25
  • Chapter 4- Work and Money 37
  • Chapter 5- At Home 47
  • Chapter 6- Avoiding Mistakes 55
  • Chapter 7- Not Liking Kids 67
  • Chapter 8- Early Retirement 75
  • Chapter 9- Avoiding Stress 85
  • Chapter 10- Staying the Way We Are 97
  • Chapter 11- Mixed Feelings 105
  • Chapter 12- Men and Overpopulation 113
  • Chapter 13- The Father Connection 121
  • Chapter 14- To Sum Up 129
  • Appendix Reasons Why People Say No to Kids 137
  • References 139
  • Index 141
  • About the Author *
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