Weekly Digest #78
Updated: Feb 24
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In this digest-
1. Cover Story- The age-old old age question
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
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The age-old old age question
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Currently, the retirement age at many jobs in India is 60. This means that after 60, people are expected to leave their jobs at 60 and start leading a “retired life.” This seems odd and unnatural for a lot of reasons, especially looking at the place where the world is today. The question is, whether this is really a good idea, or should the retirement age be changed to reflect the many things that have changed in the world?
I shall try to present both sides of the argument.
The first thing I will talk about is the retirement age. It is currently between 60 and 65 years for many jobs. This may not seem harmful in itself, as encouraging you to leave doesn’t sound very threatening, but this leaves all people above 60 more vulnerable to being laid off due to their age, which means that they essentially have an axe hanging over their heads from the moment they turn 60, which can lead to a lot of unnecessary pressure, which would negatively impact them, and could adversely affect their mental state.
This is the issue with 60 being the age for retirement. Now I will go over the issues with, and also the benefits of the status quo.
The main benefit of the current age of retirement is that it allows younger people to get jobs very easily. In India, unemployment is already rampant, so by keeping people above 60 in their jobs for longer, you’re making it harder for younger people to get jobs. This is leading to an increase in unemployment, which isn’t great for the economy, or the country in general.
Furthermore, younger people and fresh faces means that fresher methods and ideas are being interpolated. People of one generation don’t think the same way, but their ideals are majorly based on 2 things, their upbringing, and their time. The only issue with this is that they all think in reference to their time, which isn’t the same as today’s time.
Don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying that there is something wrong with their way of thinking, I actually feel that their views are integral, and that very “modern” ideas aren’t always the answer. What I’m saying is that we need a balance between these views, and not a saturation of either side.
Firstly, this retirement age needs to be amended for the current life expectancy. India’s life expectancy is almost 70 right now, which is significantly better than what it was 40 years ago. This means that people can work for more years now. This means that keeping the retirement age at 60 is not only just a symbol of a bygone era, but also just completely unnecessary.
This is the same thing that you would do if you decided to use outdated data from the 1970s for a school project today, even if there is some perfectly reliable information that was compiled in 2019!
The second issue with this retirement age is that it alienates people above the age of 60. This is because they are officially considered “old people”, and also burdens to their employers, since the only reason they are being asked to retire is because they are supposedly too old to effectively contribute to the places where they work. The only issue with that notion is connected to my first point.
This is a very old notion, from a time when healthcare wasn’t nearly as good as it is now, which meant that illnesses that are considered very minor today were debilitating then, so people succumbing to illnesses wasn’t a very foreign notion for the time when the retirement age was decided.
The erstwhile state of the healthcare system notwithstanding, the alienation of people above 60 is something that still occurs because of the retirement age. Social interaction is greatly decreased, because the need to leave one’s home is decreased. Before retirement, you would have to leave home at least 5 days a week to go to work, but now, since you have retired, you needn’t step out very often. This is how early retirement causes unnecessary alienation.
The time has come for me to reach a verdict, and so, with the information that I have given today, I am going to give one. I feel that we need to do a few things. Firstly, change the retirement age, but not change it drastically. No one expects the retirement age to become 90 all of a sudden. However, I do feel like 65 is a good place to start.
Furthermore, people should still be allowed to work after 65 as well.
Some people may choose that, and giving them that freedom will benefit everyone, both the younger and older populations. This gradual change can allow for some breathing room, so that not everyone is too busy concentrating on avoiding the axe above their head to actually do much work.
Furthermore, older employees can take up less demanding “desk jobs” so that they can work without too much exertion.
Focusing on government employees, who are most affected by the retirement age. When they retire, the government has to pay them a pension. If the government increases the retirement age, it’ll benefit them, because a higher retirement age means they have to pay a lesser pension. With such a win- win situation, I can’t see any reason to avoid increasing the retirement age!(except for the ones I mentioned, of course😂)
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