Something I and others like me come up against frequently now given where I and others like me are in our lives.
It cropped up again on Friday as one of the visiting Japanese engineers decided he’d have a short personal conversation within me and within that conversation, he asked me how old I was.
Deflected the question at first, but then told him my age, to which he asked ‘Shouldn’t you be retired?’
In a way, I see where he is coming from. In Japan, someone my age is expected to drop out of the workforce -and be consigned to playing what the Japanese call Gate Ball for the rest of their life, or if still working, working at the periphery of the work force.
Sure, I’d like to be fully retired, wouldn’t anybody, even at say the ripe old age of 30? But first, personal circumstances, of having an extended period of time in the employment wasteland and still maintaining a roof over our heads was a considerable financial drain. I cannot afford to retire now and may never ever be financially ready to completely retire. Second, I am still happy to work and be useful, preferably in something more closer to what I see as my real skill set.
And I don’t buy the excuse employers make about how people at my stage in life are more expensive. Bulls**t. If anything, I see myself as a cheap, yet very experienced alternative. My most major financial obligation, paying back the house loan, will be over in less than 2 years, have no other children to rear/support, IOW, my compensation needs are less than what would have to be paid for say someone in their 40’s or 50’s. I’m a bargain waiting and willing to be snatched up, yet employers just don’t seem to get this.