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I'm essentially retired (though just starting a big new project for a previous client...) but even so continue to browse Code Project. I've noticed quite a few contributors saying "I'm retired now, but..." and wondered just how many of us have hung up our mice for the last time (There must be a better analogy but I've not come across it).
Are we retirees actively developing new code/projects of our own? Tinkering with support for ex-clients? Learning brand new skills / technologies just for the love of it? Or do we hang around in the CP lounge because the virtual ex-colleagues there are the only friends we have, and we have nothing better to do...
At least in the US, unless you were fortunate enough to inherit a ton of money or managed to save a lot via a successful business, there is no real expectation of retirement. The idea is to continue working into your 60s and 70s, perhaps fewer hours a week. Otherwise your standard of living will certainly fall.
Well, if you work from 23 to 60, that's 37 years of employment. If you can save 1/3 of your income, that should cover 19 years (assuming 0 growth), and around 25 years (assuming 10-15% growth). But in reality very few people can save that much. Especially as budgeting is not a skill people have these days. Families with 100K household income drive luxury cars (they also lease instead of buying used), people wear designer clothing (3x the cost of normal clothes), spend a ton on eating out, upgrading phones/gadgets every 2 years, etc. There was a study recently that said 50% of Americans have less than 10K saved up.
Perhaps it's all true. Studies find what they want to find - but I don know that a lot of employees where I work make comparatively low pay and yet will buy $200 boots because they'll be in style for a few months.
But, it's there own fault. In the grand scheme, unless they hope and plan to die young, they're living far beyond their means.
So I had small cars, bought mostly used and kept until they weren't worth fixing. If any of my neighbors thought I should be more stylish they could buy me something better. Ordering lunch every day at work, instead of bringing it? That's thousands of dollars/year. Upgrading phones? WTF for? And spend a kilobuck on it - well, it's like this - I won't shed a tear for someone who's spent it all on short term goals. I can quit working whenever I want. Can travel, buy things, and not skip a beat. Not because my pay was high (it never was) but because I learned how to live with what I had and have enough of it saved to keep doing just that.
With a little luck, Social Security will tide them through. Or, maybe it's time for payback in a biblical style: after the fat years come the lean years, and the fat years were forgotten as a consequence of the lean years.
What? You work like a bee and live like a rat? All those saving wouldn't do you any good it you should hit by a truck tomorrow. On the other hand if you should live to 100 years old, well it helps. Its a "IF".
Not quite. I can buy anything I want - just not everything I want.
I simply don't give a sh*t about peer pressure of any sort and make my own decisions. I'm one of those with a flip-phone (there are others, here - a surprising number). Desktop PC was a bare-bones and it is way past my necessary requirements, but bought in the sweet spot of pricing. Not a gamer's (or video editor's) box by any means, but my eight core Xeon (at work) doesn't do any better for anything I do with respect to development. I'll replace it if it's characteristics are become an obstacle. My two-HDD 17" laptop also flies (Dell M6500) - we cook most nights but do takeout once or twice a week. All-inclusive vacations at quality resorts (like Couples, for example).
So no - one doesn't have to live like a rat. One need nearly not waste.
As for living for today and/or preparing for tomorrow? That one, I'm afraid, is a contradiction in life for which I've now answer. One can simply choose a path and hope it works out.
Meanwhile, I even get to enjoy the pleasure of planning and anticipation for likely events. Next year will be Hawaii. Mrs. wants to do Australia, too. I'm thinking India. When I retire, we can do both. A trip to Israel, too. So - if I live, "I won". If I don't, "I'm dead".
unless you were fortunate enough to inherit a ton of money or managed to save a lot via a successful business, there is no real expectation of retirement.
But, there is another way! I've known way too many people who have retired on disability, or faked on the job injuries for a settlement/annuity. My younger brother retired at 48 yo from a super easy govt. job due to arthritis and my brother-in-law retired at 52 with a knee injury that had nothing to do with his job.
As for myself, I'm 51 and have been in software for almost 20 years. I really don't see myself retiring before probably 65 or so. (based on IRA performance) Even after that, I can see myself piddling with personal projects and probably hanging out here in the lounge.
"Progress doesn't come from early risers – progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." Lazarus Long