When people ask me if I am retired, I have to admit I am sometimes tempted to answer not just “no” but – if you’ll pardon the expression – “hell no!!” Though it is true I retired early from my former corporate career several years ago, it has never even occurred to me to quit working, earning a living, or being otherwise as productive as I am able – not ever. And I have no problem expressing that to people in no uncertain terms.
Unfortunately I’m afraid we may be at risk of squandering one of our greatest natural resources, and I’m not talking about the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or the chronic wastefulness of our world’s precious natural commodities – although these are undeniably serious matters to be addressed both short term and long term. No, I’m referring to the estimated 77 million people in our society popularly labeled as “baby boomers” representing nearly 29% of the American population, of which I am one.
According to media resources 88.8 percent of baby boomers have completed high school and 28.5 percent hold bachelor’s degrees or higher, the highest education level of any previous generation. Combined with the wisdom obtained through years of life experiences, good health and a substantially extended life expectancy makes this generation one of society’s greatest natural resources, although one with a limited shelf life. Why should this great resource be squandered by allowing ourselves – or society allowing us – to simply sit in rocking chairs drawing pensions and social security? Seems like a waste, doesn’t it?
So, fellow boomers, may I suggest when people ask if we are planning to retire we should resoundingly respond not just “no” but “hell no!!” – if you’ll pardon the expression. We have too much to contribute toward the greater good; for we are after all one of the world’s greatest natural resources. Let’s not squander it.