The Retirement Scoreboard – Part Two – The Down Side

stormb046Well, no point in beating around the bush – retirement has some disadvantageous things about it. Best to get this over with early – you 30 and 40-year olds need to consider this now.

a. You don’t have a regular income. You have either what you have saved up, contracted for, or are given by governmental charity. None of these amounts are likely to be as high as you received during your working years, despite what the glib insurance salesmen will try to tell you. You just do not have as much money available as before…unless you are a counterfeiter.

b. You are going to be subjected to more aches and pains. You are getting older, and while Steve Smith describes this as ” getting riper ” it brings with it the ravages of gravity and gravy. Things hurt, don’t work, and look bad. You can get treatments and medicines to improve the state of affairs but you’ll just have to accept some deterioration. The memes on Facebook are not really going to help.

c. The people who regarded you as helpful, miserable, lovely, scary, profitable, irritable, or anything else when you were working will see you differently now. You rarely have relevance to them any more – and if you are not going to be a source of income for them you become less than useless. You become a burden to be shed. The best you can hope for is invisibility.

d. As you become older you will be treated as if you are…older. In some cases it will not mean that you will be treated well. Expect irritability, exasperation, and ridicule from people in government departments and business situations. Expect contempt and abuse from those who think they can get away with it scot-free.

e. Expect a sense of loss to flood you now and then when you see others engaged in active and remunerative work. Expect to feel a little lost in a shopping centre every now and then.

f. Expect to feel a little sad when you see people, businesses, buildings, and organisations that you knew disappear into new forms. The world turns steadily even if you are not winding the handle.

g. Expect a feeling of horror when you see what daytime television has become. Depending upon your tastes, you may also feel this with night-time TV. Do not be frightened if you find yourself pushing the television onto the front verge on bin -night…or off a freeway bridge. You have finally had enough TV.

h. You will be bound to wear the wrong thing at some stage of the game. Business wear is not for you any more, and if you show up at a business in casual clothing, you will be laughed at. Be philosophical about it – your old clothes would get you laughed at anyway, wherever you go.

Okay, now that I have depressed you for a day, read tomorrow’s post for the upside of retirement.



4 thoughts on “The Retirement Scoreboard – Part Two – The Down Side

  1. I so agree that there’s a sense of ‘where am I? what now?’ when you don’t do paid work. I do a day a week and the rest of the time I try to keep myself meaningfully occupied – which is a bit of a challenge, but I’d never go back to the meaninglessly occupied full time work week. You sum it up very well!


    1. During my retail career I often went out to suburban shopping centres to provide training to pharmacies and post offices in Polaroid passport camera operation. I saw men of my own age in shapeless garments sitting on the benches of shopping malls or shuffling slowly by. They were sad and lost, and I took a horror of their condition from that sight. Now that I am retired, I too have to go to shopping malls in the middle of the morning to get bread and milk or pay bills at the post office. I have deliberately made it a practice of walking briskly wherever I go, using a standard 120 paces per minute and parade decorum. I time it with an internal track set to the British Guard’s regimental quick marches. Or ” SEMPER FIDELIS ” for a nice change. Occasionally I use the Elisabether Marsch or the Florentiner Marsch. The point is to go where I need to go, when I need to go, with purpose. In every case it makes me feel better.


    1. Be careful of the plastic surgery. Surgeons don’t have many outlets for humour and the temptation to give you a permanent Joker rictus may prove too much for them. After all, you are under anaesthetic at the time and who’s to know? And don’t save money for a rainy day – sitting inside on a rainy day making stacks of 20¢ pieces is over-rated.


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