Being of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, everyone my age is talking about retirement. Some of my friends have fully retired and constantly tell me, “I’m busier now then I’ve ever been”; “I don’t have time for everything I want to do”, etc.

Some of my friends are working part time – two or three days a week, balancing work and play.

However most of my friends still work full time. And, like me, they find their work very enjoyable and satisfying. But the ‘R’ word still lurks in the back of my mind so I decided to look around to see what retirement looks like around the world. AARP has done a bunch of studies on retirement in the US.  But what is it like in other parts of the world?

One study I found was done by the HSBC Ageing & Retirement Program at Oxford Institute on Ageing. This is their 3rd Annual Study on the Future of Retirement and contains results collected from surveys of 21,000 people aged 40 – 79 in 21 mature and transitional countries and territories. Each of the previous studies have focused on a particular aspect of retirement, with this one looking at the impact of older people on societies.

The significance of the study is reflected in the introductory comments by Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Institute: “While a few, mainly Western, national surveys have started to indicate changes in the way older people are beginning to work and relate to their families, this is the first time that we have been able to test so many of these new developments in countries across the world. We see evidence that many of the trends in retirement behaviour, health and well being, which were once thought to occur only in affluent Western societies, are also emerging in parts of Asia, Latin America and Africa.”

Now that I’ve read this study, perhaps I am better prepared to wrestle with the ‘R’ word. I’ll let you know. 

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