Mr Fu and I have just listened tonight, open-mouthed, to a programme on Radio 4 called Retiring Retirement, which outlined the future for retirement – or rather, the lack of it. With the official retirement age abolished and life expectancy going up, the crux of the broadcast was that people should expect to work until their 70s, even 80s, and how to prepare for that.
There’s been lots of similar things in the media of late – as noted by Mr Fu here, but in this particular programme Professor Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice of London Business School, told listeners that the old life pattern of education-work-retirement will, in the future, evolve into a phase of several careers, perhaps broken up by travel breaks or periods of re-training.
The programme then went on to interview people who had started businesses in their 70s, or became apprentices in careers such as banking. Naturally, everyone interviewed gave a Utopian view of their working life, and loved working ….and maybe they do love it, but there was only a tiny reference to people who might do the kind of job that might be physically impossible in later life, such as construction and other physical work. The message for them, of course, was simply to plan in advance to re-train in another field ready for your twilight years career. (Just how many B&Qs are there going to be in the future?!?!)
Not ONCE did anyone mention that there was another option – that you can prepare yourself financially so that you don’t have to work.
I do suspect that Professor Lynda might’ve gone on to say something about saving more towards retirement than current traditional advice, but I don’t think the programme was designed to make anyone question anything other than the basic message – prepare to carry on working, possibly until you die.
Mr FU and I were pretty much shouting at the radio, but should we be glad that FI is still under-the-radar when it comes to the media? Should we FI-ers keep this little nugget to ourselves, maybe, so that the powers-that-be can’t spoil it somehow? Or are you all for spreading the word?