Social Question

chinchin31's avatar

Why do human beings retire when all it does is make them turn into miserable, unhappy people ?

Asked by chinchin31 (1778points) February 26th, 2016

When I look at retired people including my parents they often seem so miserable.

It is like they don’t know what to do with themselves and as a result they start annoying and trying to control their children and grandchildren and complaining that no one has time for them. However when they were young they had no time for their parents either.

I just feel like if people keep busy till the day they die , they will not become annoying miserable people, unless they get sick of course ( which is different).

As a matter of fact, I have noticed that people that live the longest and are alert in their old age , keep working and busy and active till the day they die.

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15 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

In many Western societies, people don’t have any choice but to retire or at least partially retire at a certain age. Since we now remain healthy for much longer, this can leave people with many productive years when they don’t have a ‘formal’ job to go to. My observation is that we don’t do a very good job of providing opportunities for people to transition from their long-term paid employment into their retirement activities. Given the changes in society, these are things we really need to work on.

I’d like to see mechanisms put in place so that people can gradually reduce from full-time to part-time work. It would be great to see organisations making use of the huge amount of knowledge those retiring have as part of their forward and future planning. I’d also like to see governments setting up programs to use retiring people to help young people gain skills and knowledge. In just about every industry, those who have years of experience can assist those following behind them. When they retire, they leave a deficit.

So yes, people who are transitioning from full-time work to retirement often aren’t in the best place. It really is something we all need to think about before we reach that point and as a society, we need to start to factor into our planning.

johnpowell's avatar

You should meet my mom who was born in 1953 and retired. I was trying to get help from my mom the other day about my lease and she was all “It is 3 PM and I will sleep whenever the fuck I want to. Go Away.”

chyna's avatar

What a generalization. Not all people that retire are miserable unhappy people. I personally am sick of having worked every day of my life since I was 16 years old. I’d love to retire now at age 57 and enjoy the rest of my life, but I don’t have enough money saved and I can’t collect social security yet.

Strauss's avatar

Retirement, for me, was the chance to stop doing what I had to do, and start doing what I want to do.

Retirement alone does not make anyone miserable or unhappy. I’ve been retired for several years now, and I think it was one of the best decisions I made in my life, second only to marrying the woman I loved, and still love after 28 years.

IMHO, those who ARE miserable or unhappy were probably pretty much on their way there to begin with.

Jeruba's avatar

I love being retired. Not for one minute since September 24, 2009, have I thought, “I wish I were back at work.”

People who don’t have any idea what to do with themselves might have been overinvested in their jobs and the identity it gave them, but that was never going to be my problem.

You can be busy and engaged in interesting activities without being someone’s employee or provider. For instance, it’s a great time to take classes, pursue hobbies, or do volunteer work. All the retired people I know are thrilled to have command of their own time.

Coloma's avatar

I’m with @chyna and @Yetanotheruser Being a miserable person is a mindset and has nothing to do with being retired. I’m 56 and would love to be retired and doing nothing but relaxing, enjoying myself, traveling and spending time with friends and my daughter. I’m miserable knowing that I can;t retire. lol

SQUEEKY2's avatar

If you let work run your life I can see that happening, but if you have outside interests and can afford it retirement would be great.

jca's avatar

Everyone that I know that retired is thrilled. They look very relaxed. They’re cleaning out closets and decluttering their houses. They have time to travel. They are smiling. They love life. They’re happy not to have to wake up early every day and travel to work, and spend all day at work.

CWOTUS's avatar

Get off my lawn!

yankeetooter's avatar

Watch the movie the intern if you haven’t seen it yet. It is perfect example of what you R saying

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I don’t know any miserable unhappy retired people; but I know many many retired people. You may be talking about yourself; I don’t know.

Jeruba's avatar

For some, too, it could be disappointed expectations: they have an idea of what retirement should be, and it doesn’t turn out that way. Some people, for example, are surprised to find out that they can’t stand having their spouse around all the time (or that their spouse can’t stand having them around).

Also some people might find that they just can’t sustain their lifestyle. Retirement is a big hit to many people’s budgets. And penury can make a huge dent in bliss.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Because maybe work doesn’t suck, and is taken for granted?

Kardamom's avatar

I have yet to meet a retired person that was unhappy about their retirement. Some people have more energy and more activities that they engage in, but everyone I know who is retired is thrilled to be so.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Man if I had the Capital I would retire tomorrow and love it.

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