Pension protests

There were more riots in Paris this week over the French government raising the country’s official retirement age from 62 to 64.

The French have been protesting pension reforms for decades. In 1995, weeks-long mass protests forced the government of the day to abandon plans to reform public sector pensions. In 2010, millions took to the streets to oppose raising the retirement age by two years to 62 and in 2014 further reforms were met with widespread demonstrations.

While I don’t agree with them setting fire to buildings and injuring policemen, I admire their spirited opposition to working two years longer.

As one protest banner said: “Retirement before arthritis!”

Going by how stiff I am in the mornings, its already too late for me on that front.

There weren’t any riots in Australia when our retirement age was raised. From July 1 you have to be 67 to qualify for the pension. It might even go higher if the government can’t cope with the financial burden of our growing cohort of retirees.

I reckon they will need to tackle the ageism issues we have in this country if they do that. It’s damn hard to get a job interview at 50, let alone 65.

At 55, the idea of my official retirement age being 12 years away is a little dispiriting.

While I am excited by the opportunity I’ve been given to be a digital corporate communications manager at my age, I am also tired.

That could probably be alleviated by a proper holiday. While I often get ribbed about always being away, the truth is my recent breaks have been complicated affairs.

I spent Christmas with Covid, I worked half days while on a quick trip to Gerringong in January and my most recent getaway was a long weekend in Hobart.

The last two were fun, but not quite enough to recharge my batteries properly.

I need a decent break – a week or two without illness or work stresses:

I am planning something long and lazy for after the HSC. And in the meantime there are a couple of long weekends on the horizon.

As for retirement, the truth is my kids are too expensive for me to even consider it over the next five years.

What about you? Would you like to retire early or are you the type that wants to keep working?

Song of the day: Queen “Don’t stop me now”

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