Have you thought half-way about the history of retirement?  This practice has been around since the eighteenth century. In the late nineteenth and twentieth century, the policy of retirement has been adopted by many different countries.

What Is Retirement?

Retirement is to withdraw from one’s occupation or position from working actively. Retirement can be achieved when you have income sources that do not have to be earned by work. The terms financial independence and retirement are often interchangeably used. You can achieve both with enough savings, pension income or investment income to cover living expenses. Work is optional for retired individuals.

The History Of Retirement

As life expectancy has increased, retirement is a somewhat newer concept. In other words, the retirement concept did not exist a hundred years ago. The combination of Social Security government-sponsored benefits and increased life span resulted in the concept of retirement. Prior to programs such as this, people spent their entire life working. If they were not able to work, their families had to provide them with money and supplies.

Before The Eighteenth Century

The average life expectancy people had before the eighteenth century was between twenty-six to forty years old. Because of this, only a small amount of the population was able to reach an age in which impairments physically became an obstacle to working. Beginning in the Roman empire, there had been long practices of providing pensions to those that served in the military.

Nineteenth Century

Otto Von Bismarck, the German chancellor of 1883, maneuvered around the burgeoning, powerful Marxists by announcing that people over the age of sixty-five will need to retire with pensions paid to them.

Similarly, President Roosevelt introduced his New Deal Welfare Program and was also labeled a socialist. These welfare programs provided contributed to retirement benefits and benefits for disability.

It was mandatory to participate in this system and contributions came from the government, employers, and employees.

Later, in the middle of the 1800’s, municipal employees of the USA including teachers, police and firefighters began gaining public pensions. Soon many industries in America from banking to oil and railroads started to offer pensions.

Twentieth Century

William Osler, the eminent physicist from Canada made a valedictory address in 1905 to Johns Hopkins Hospitals expressing his belief that the best work of a man was done before the age of forty. Thus, he should retire by the age of sixty. The golden years of plenty he assigned to the ages twenty-five to forty.

As a concept, the United States widely adopted retirement after the Industrial Revolution period. Many overage workers in the factory showed ageing signs including taking excess sick leaves, slowing down lines at the assembly and usurping spots from the youth.

When they refused to resign, older workers caused younger populations to become unemployed. The Great Depression made things worse. In 1935, the concept of paying older workers to quit work became a widespread idea. By the year 1910, Florida became known as the white-collar retirement destination.

The onset of television, film and golf courses transformed empty hours into a time for leisurely activity.

The American Association of Retired Persons in 1999 dropped the “retired” term from its name.

The Current Situation

One in five retired people experiences depression particularly if they live alone due to divorce or bereavement. Many workers that scaled back on their jobs still work for twenty more years even at the age of fifty-five or sixty. The history of retirement reveals that most people have accepted retirement as part of life and prepare to retire even during their working years.