Why retire when you can just rewire? | Inquirer Business
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Why retire when you can just rewire?

/ 02:03 AM September 13, 2023

Question: I am looking to retire at age 40, then spend the rest of my days enjoying life with family and friends. I am currently 25 years old. I may not be able to enjoy life when I am already old and gray. Would that be a realistic goal? Answer: Why the rush? Is work something of a burden to you?

St. Josemaria Escriva is quoted as saying that, “It makes no sense to classify men differently, according to their occupation, as if some jobs were nobler than others. Work, all work, bears witness to the dignity of man, to his dominion over creation. It is an opportunity to develop one’s personality. It is a bond of union with others, the way to support one’s family, a means of aiding in the improvement of the society in which we live and in the progress of all humanity.”


Doing the rounds on the internet is a supposed study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found that the most productive stage of human life is between 60 to 70 years of age, with the second stage from 70 to 80 and the third most productive stage from 50 to 60. The study supposedly also found that the average age of Nobel Prize winners is 62; the average age of the presidents of prominent companies in the world is 63; the average age of pastors of the 100 largest churches in the US is 71 and that the average age of popes is 76. Bad news though, there is no such study and the claims made have been fact-checked to be false.

Of course, genes play a big role in how long and healthy a person lives. Yet, people still have a say in their quality of life past the age of 60, the normal retirement age when one also takes on a second citizenship, that of being a senior citizen. Normal retirement does not mean that things have to go downhill. Retiring at the age of 60 can actually be considered rewiring for what could be the most exciting phase in anyone’s life.


Blue Zones is an organization that enlightens people on ways to live up to the ripe old age of 100 without the burden of poor health. Their methods are based on extensive research on “blue zones” where there is a high concentration of centenarians.

Five blue zones have actually been identified and these are:

• Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, mountainous highlands with the world’s highest concentration of male centenarians;

• Ikaria in Greece, an Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rates of middle age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia;

• Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, which has the world’s lowest middle age mortality rate, second highest concentration of male centenarians;

• Seventh Day Adventists community in Loma Linda, California, where they live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts; and

• Okinawa, Japan, where females over 70 are the longest living in the world (i.e. retirement is not even considered).


According to Blue Zones, the high quality of life has been prolonged in places just cited through the following: 1) constant physical movement as being part of normal daily life or in other words continuing work even if it be through performing household chores; 2) knowing that they are still needed by society; 3) avoiding stress by slowing down the pace of life; 4) eating to live and not living to eat (i.e. gorging); 5) eating much less meat and more plants; 6) drinking alcohol moderately and regularly; 7) belonging to any faith-based community; 8) keeping elders close by, committing to a partner and spending quality time with children; 9) being part of social circles that support healthy behaviors (i.e. avoiding loneliness).

So, if you want to retire early because you think you may not be able to enjoy it when you are 60 and older, the good news from Blue Zones is that you can still enjoy life as much after retirement age as before it. But you do need to prepare. Therefore, instead of pressuring yourself to save and invest enough for your retirement by a target early age like 40, why not just start practicing the lifestyle of people who live in blue zones? After all, life is a marathon and not a sprint.

In terms of boosting your savings through investing, just allow the experts to handle your savings so that you can focus on the goose that lays the golden egg, your employment or business. Experts can be found in pooled funds and investment management accounts of companies with trust licenses from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. And if you insist on doing the actual investing yourself but with an investment adviser, there are pure investment advisers now who are registered as such with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As we say at Personal Finance Advisers Philippines, “You cannot buy more of forevermore. Your time is allocated to the portion dictated. Time is the most crucial to goals most personal. Time makes goals affordable and makes life enjoyable. So, make the most of your time, while you are still in your prime. Plan for goals way ahead, avoid goals being shed.” INQ

Send questions via “Ask a Friend, Ask Efren” free service at www.personalfinance.ph, SMS, Viber, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. Efren Ll. Cruz is a registered financial planner and director of RFP Philippines, seasoned investment adviser, author of bestselling personal finance books in the Philippines and a YAMAN Coach. To consult with a YAMAN Coach, email yaman@personalfinance.ph. To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 104th RFP Program this Nov. To inquire, e-mail info@rfp.ph or text 09176248110.

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