MYTH 7: Retire at 65
In the past, grandparents and great grandparents were treasured by the community as the trusted wise ones with the greatest amount of practical and spiritual knowledge and experience. In an industrialized culture when things get old, they are no longer useful, and are therefore disposable. Elders are no longer of use to “the workforce” and must go into retirement where they often live at poverty level. Our elders die alone and lonely, or if they have enough money, in a facility with others who are in the same predicament. It wasn’t long before the corporations saw this niche as a money-making opportunity, offering a variety of levels of assisted living facilities. The honor that should be given to the wisdom of age goes uncelebrated. The precise time when people are at their best and most valuable based upon their accumulated wisdom and experience, they are replaced by younger people in the workplace. The consolation is that one day retirement will be one long vacation. In reality, the majority of retirees don’t have the money to go anywhere. This is the perfect age to take leadership positions in the community and the family, but in our culture we set them aside.