Next Avenue: Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I’m retired

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from The other day, my longtime friend and former colleague Ken claimed I had retired. This news came as a surprise to me. We were having an otherwise enjoyable conversation via Zoom
talking business and families. Then he asked, “So how’s your life going now that you’ve retired?”

“I’m still working,” I said. “Full time.” “No,” Ken said, shaking his head emphatically from side to side. “You retired.” “What makes you think so?” “You posted something on Facebook or LinkedIn.” I denied it, but he insisted. It was weird. I fully expected him to understand that I of all people would probably know best whether I’m retired. I suspect that Ken, who recently turned 50, arrived at several assumptions about me. First, he knew I had recently hit age 70. The current average retirement age in the U.S. is 61, according to a new Gallup poll. So he probably took for granted that I was ready to do as others my age have already long since done and put myself out to pasture. Second, he knew I had moved permanently from New York City to Southern Italy just over a year ago. So now that I’m an American expatriate living la dolce vita, what could possibly motivate me to keep plugging away at my humble trade? Third, he knew I left a global professional services agency after 12 years in senior management to go into business for myself as a consultant almost three years ago. Possibly he, like others, is prone to interpret the term “consultant,” as applied to a person of my vintage, to be a misnomer or euphemism for “underemployed” or “ter …

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