Retirement age is just a number

Most countries have an official retirement age - 67 years seems to be the norm in Europe, Australia and New Zealand (Fresh look at re-employment; May 31).

Nevertheless, we should not let a number determine when we stop full-time work.

Given better healthcare and longevity, it is imperative that we stay active, both physically and mentally, for as long as we live - for the sake of preserving our sanity.

It is best to leave it to employers and employees to arrive at a mutual agreement on when one should retire, depending on one's health and preference.

Employers can exercise their discretion when negotiating with senior workers on employment extensions and co-payment of medical insurance premiums and/or medical expenses.

In fact, this option can be deployed right from the point of hiring, regardless of age, as it sets the right tone for employees to take an active interest in maintaining themselves in a state of continuous good health.

Retirement should not be defined just as a withdrawal from full-time work. It should also be when one embarks on other activities that allow one to continue living an active and meaningful life.

Paul Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2018, with the headline 'Retirement age is just a number'. Print Edition | Subscribe