How Long Will We Be Working?

Aaron McHugh


It was very common for our grandparents to find a good company and hitch their wagon to it for the next thirty years.

In the post-depression and post-WWII era, finding predictable work was a blessing.

If you were able to work for a company like Ford Motor Company, then you were enrolled in their retirement pension plan.

This golden handcuff tethered you to the company until you reached retirement age, but your contract was mutually beneficial: the company benefited from your investment and you benefited from a reliable income source for the rest of your life.

That has all changed.

Saving for Retirement: We’re going to be working for a while.

Imagine that last week you attended your company’s retirement plan meeting. The young thirty-something presenter showed a chart proclaiming how the stock market boasts a predictable 30-year average rate of return of 10%.

For the last 15 years, however, you’ve only experienced down markets. You follow the advertised best practices, contributing your faithful (x)% every month. but you know that your retirement plan is not the golden handcuff it once was.

Indeed, the Ford Motor Company’s pension plan model vanished with our grandparents’ generation. And the promise of the stock market producing wild amounts of wealth with which we can travel the world and eat caviar does not seem to be panning out, either.

Maybe we shouldn’t try and stay with one company?

The belief that our company’s retirement plan will provide a guaranteed path to financial security is not anything you should count on. Instead, we should accept that you will be working for more years than the thirty-something presenter promised in that meeting.

Let’s not feel obligated to stick it out with any one company for our entire career.

The good news is that when the pension plan vanished, employees received greater freedom of choice. We can make career decisions largely independent of a company retirement plan.

Since most of us won’t end up in early retirement, we should certainly make sure our work is fulfilling.

We are going to be at it for a while and there is no payoff for hanging on to one company.

We are free to choose where to invest your skills and talents.

*Expert from eBook: Don’t Quit Your Job. Fire Your Boss.

For your complete free copy download here.

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