Retirement is a stage of life. For some, it is synonymous with a well-deserved rest. For others, it arouses fear of isolation, a drop in living standards… Or even the fear of no longer feeling useful to society. This is the case of Julien, 42 years old, business manager, who does not want to stop working for anything in the world. “I don’t see retirement, I see something progressive and not a break. I think I will work until I die,” he says. For Planet, he explains his thought process.
Julian. “I am a business manager and author of around thirty books. I am someone who works a lot. I work 365 days a year: there is not a day, even at Christmas or New Year, when I don’t work. During the week, I work 12-hour days, sometimes more. At the weekend, so Saturday and Sunday, I work five or six hours spread out throughout the day. I really give a lot of time to value at work: for me, it is the altruistic dimension of society”.
Julian. “Yes, I travel quite a bit. Sometimes alone, sometimes with my daughter. I was in Rome last week, but I was working and I allowed myself two to three hours of visiting a day. I took advantage of going to the museum, exhibitions… But the rest of the day, I went back to work: I worked, I wrote, I followed my accounting…”.
In short, Julien feels in tune with his work. For this reason, he refuses to retire one day…
Julian. “To work is to be useful to the community and to others. I need this feeling of usefulness, for me it is major: I don’t see myself doing things just for myself. I have leisure, yes, but they give me less satisfaction. My parents have a life geared towards leisure and travel: I find that they have isolated themselves since they retired. My father, for example, does not listen to people more. As they no longer have constraints, they lose the sense of what human relationships are, the fact of adapting to others… It’s a life too focused on oneself, almost selfish.”
So, Julien does not want to retire, and continue to work all his life. However, he does not want to give the same place to his work as he gets older…
Julian. “I have a demanding job in terms of health, I want to be able to reduce the pace as I get older, no longer do certain activities. As I get older, I will remove certain tasks, I will do it at my own pace… Writing, for example, is not a demanding activity: perhaps at the end of my life I will only keep that. But I don’t know: what I like about the work is the constraint, discomfort. It allows me to learn things, to have experiences that nourish my writing. Retirement does not suit me: we have fewer of these daily difficulties, we are less challenged, less challenged (. ..) I think I will work until I die.”