Editorial: Jamie Beckett on Never Retiring

Apropos of Nothing: Don’t Retire — Rebound
An Editorial by Jamie Beckett

Retirement? Why retire when you can rebound?

If the ever-expanding flow of junk mail arriving at my house each week can be believed, I am old. I don’t dispute it, either. In fact, I embrace the years I’ve put behind me. But mixed in with the invitations to join AARP, reverse mortgage my house, or pre-pay my funeral expenses, are envelopes from companies that want more than anything to help me manage my retirement. That annoys me.

Retirement! Why would anybody in his or her right mind retire? Given fifty years or so to prepare for old age, wouldn’t it seem more reasonable to find something you like to do, something you want to do, something that will light a fire under your butt and launch you from bed every morning. Well, maybe not every morning. Some of us are more laid back than that. Three days a week would be enough for some, I’m sure.

Let’s rethink this whole cockamamie retirement thing. I’m not doing it. Nope. Not for a minute. I’m going to work, but work at something that most people would consider to be play. And I’ll get paid for it, too. Maybe not a lot, but something at least. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

That’s not quite as outlandish an idea as you might think, either. J.W. Marriott Jr. is still on the job running an international powerhouse of a company at 81 years old. Warren Buffett remains one of the most respected financial workhorses on the scene at 82. And good ol’ Andy Rooney stayed at the top of his game until weeks before he departed this world at 92.

Retire? I don’t think so. There’s too much happening in the world for me to go sit on a stump and wait for rigor mortis to set in. I’m going to rebound instead. Care to come along for the ride? It’ll be bumpy, but we’ll have some laughs. I promise.