I started flying when I was 16, and have held a flying license for 22 years now. If I was to retire at 60, that means I have another 22 years to go. I mean, I would like to retire tomorrow, but I think 60 is a little more realistic. Actually, the Canadian courts recently found that an Air Canada Captain's civil rights had been violated when he was forced to retire at 60, and it looks like the age will be bumped up to at least 65. While I respect a person's decision to continue to work as long as they can/want to, there are some pretty serious consequences to that decision.
If I retire at 60, I will likely live to be 77 or so, at least according to the latest data. However, if I retire at 65 I will likely live to be only 68 or so, which would put a serious crimp on my plan to sit on the beaches in Jamaica for twenty years, drinking pina coladas and tending to my hemp farms.
Dr. Ephrem Cheng did an actuarial study of life span vs. age at retirement, based on pension cheques sent to employees of Boeing Aerospace. Yeah I understand that only a small chunk of the employees were actually pilots, but that also tells me the stats likely hold true for everyone, not just flying guys. I swiped one of the tables from the study to show you:
See what I mean? For people who retired at the age of 50, their average life span is 86; whereas for people retired at the age of 65, their average life span is only 66.8! If you do the math according to the actuarial tables, you lose about 2 years of life expectancy for every year you work after age 55.
The Boeing experience is that employees retiring at age of 65 receive pension checks for only 18 months, on average, prior to death. Similarly, the Lockheed experience is that employees retiring at age of 65 receive pension checks for only 17 months, on average, prior to death. Dr. David T. Chai indicated that the Bell Labs experience is similar to those of Boeing and Lockheed based on the casual observation from the Newsletters of Bell Lab retirees. A retiree from Ford Motor told Dr. Paul Tien-Lin Ho that the experience from Ford Motor is also similar to those in Boeing and Lockheed.
I understand that there are many varied and complex reasons for this: People who retire early tend to be more wealthy with more access to high-end healthcare, while people who retire later tend to do so either because they need the money (which could be stressful) or they just need to work all the time (which is also hard on the body).
In my case, I'm hoping that careful investment coupled with Lisa eventually taking over the world (she has a particularly keen business sense) will give us the financial ability to depart the working world while we (mostly me, as I'm 13 years old than her) are still young enough to enjoy retirement.
Alright, I'm off to go check my RRSP balance and plan for July 2031 :)