Perhaps this repetition of mine – longevity thinking replaces retirement thinking – falls on our minds like a wet snow. It quickly dissolves under just enough heat from old frames of reference. February brings out as many commercials for “Retirement saving” plans as those for Valentine cards, candy and roses.
Living longer may not be everybody’s prospect, but however we see our current age as being our “mid-life”, the forethoughts of how we will live our days for another 20 – 40 years is a different stretch of thinking than a vague blob of time called “retirement”.
In a few weeks time I have been asked to put on a retirement planning seminar for a small group of employees who are obviously in a certain zone of “mid-life”. I really want to more than nudge them from retirement to longevity thinking. It may take us to a reality of discomfort as we talk of aging incrementally towards a much older age – and yes, even visit the “art of dying” to quote a George Harrison song.
Our longevity thinking is parceled into gardens of reflection and intersections of conflict, with variables at constant play – changes in health, relationships and financial predicaments, not to mention facing abrupt decisions about where we will move and how we will adjust.
Retirement? Get over it. The prospect of our journey in longevity is a gift to be opened with care, concern and maybe just a pinch of cheerful expectation – if we think we can afford it.