How big is your retirement dream?

senior man sitting on a bench outdoors, looking at the time on his watch

Image: olly2/

Some people already alive may live for up to 1000 years! That’s the claim of Aubrey de Grey, a Harrow and Cambridge educated biomedical theorist. A few years ago he claimed with certainty that ‘the first person to live to 150 is already alive’.

Mind you, it may not be quite the time yet to wonder what you’re going to do with all that extra time in retirement because not everyone accepts his theory that medical science or his regenerative therapies will help anyone achieve these goals.

In a Wall Street Journal article, Marc Freedman made the important point that ‘we are pushing, rapidly, to extend our lives. But we’re paying scant attention to how we should make the most of that additional time.’

Imagine, for instance, if you were to live for 150 years. What would you do with that additional time? Let’s get beyond the obvious worry of how you would fund a 75-year-or­-so retirement—what would you actually do?

In a survey about retirement (that assumed that retirees would have about 20 years in retirement) published in the Wall Street Journal, 33 per cent of those surveyed wanted to work ‘as long as I am physically and mentally able, in order to cover my expenses and/or maintain health coverage’.

Then, 31% said that retirement is ‘the beginning of a new chapter, in which I can be active and involved, start new activities, and use my skills and experience to help others’.

That’s a total of almost two-thirds who see their retirement years as active.

Of the rest, 20% saw retirement as a time to adjust their lifestyle to fit within their means, and 14% a time to enjoy a ‘well-deserved rest, take it easy, and pursue leisure activities and take care of myself’.

How are you imagining your retirement? Is what you’re imagining going to go the distance? And what can you do now to assist in making retirement worthwhile? That last question is about your health and attitude as well as your money.

As the men and women surveyed dream of their future, 70% want to make the world a better place.

How big is your dream for retirement? Freedman suggests that retirement is a ‘time to focus on enriching lives, not just lengthening them; on providing purpose and productivity, not just perpetuity’.

Bruce Manners is the author of Retirement Ready? and Refusing to Retire, and founder of

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Category: Lifestyle, Planning

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