Retirement: The Newest Bad Idea
Relatively speaking, retirement is a very new concept. It's hard to say just how it became so socially accepted, unless you take into account "the poor's" never ending desire to live like "the rich."
Nevertheless, I don't believe working the best 40 years of your life for a few easy golden years to be a necessarily healthy idea. It's an ideal based in pure hypocrisy.
The only way anyone in this economy could save up for a good retirement is if they are a work-aholic - and something about a work-aholic taking off the last 20 to 40 years of their life to do anything but work... just doesn't sound right.
"Back in the day," the closest thing to retirement was being too debilitated to work. With modern medicine as such, and technology to a point where you can work without moving an inch, that just won't happen anymore.
Granted there are several hundreds of thousands of people who haven't figured out how to work from home - but in the next generation, that will change. Soon enough, the concept of retirement will be a thing of the past... even though it technically never really existed.
Ever since Tim Ferriss's "Four Hour Work Week," there has been a movement toward 'mini-retirements.' I definitely think that's the personal finance model of the future. It makes a lot more sense than being a slave to someone else for some prize at the end that either won't happen because you didn't work hard enough, or you won't want because you did work hard enough.
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