I recently read an article by Ezra Klein that made a strong case for not raising the age of eligibility for social security. In the U.S. it is going from 65 to 67.
I have always assumed–without a lot of thought, I might add–that raising the retirement age was a no brainer way to reduce the funding strain on government, especially to cover us baby boomers now massively arriving at our golden age. Hey, we are living much longer. Why not extend the period of years that we have to be gainfully employed.
The article brought to my attention, however, that most jobs people do require them to stand for long periods, do physical work, and, BTW, some are just really mind-numbing. They will not be as ready as I, a knowledge worker, to embrace the idea of working longer than their parents did.
Now, I don’t want to get into the content of the issue of keeping Social Security solvent or of the social justice merits of making blue collar workers toil longer.
What I do want to raise here was how absolutely oblivious I have been to potential serious consequences to manual laborers of having to work a few more years. I like to work. I don’t intend to stop doing my training presentations, facilitating, and coaching until I’m into my 70’s. It’s interesting work and not too strenuous as long as I exercise regularly, eat and sleep well.
I just assumed that what works for me should be applied to everyone. And tell those who disagree with me to “get over it.” I have been a captive of my perspective!
The view from the manager’s perch is different than from the employee’s. And an important, ongoing challenge for managers is not to become captive to that perspective.