Tuesday, August 31, 2010



The reason: empty coffers, miscalculation, incompetence, idiotic life-style and a few other reasons we are not being told. It's in the air, foremost in Germany, the rest of Europe by bits and pieces, even in Greece now. As well as in the USA, Australia, even Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Who wants it? Some mostly "old crocodile - type" politicians. The same who for years knew that demographics, an unfavorable age pyramid, were a looming threat to comfortable retirement for the many. But as the topic is not popular, for fear of being associated with it, they kept it on the back-burner for too long. And thereby augmented the problem now at hand...

And politicians, by the nature of their ambition-distorted personalities, never retire, unless not re-elected. So to them, others can/should also work until death catches up with them or close to it. But no politician will say so, of course.

And then there are other reasons to keep people working ever longer, besides the empty coffers, public and private retirement funds. Here first the pros, then the cons of all this, astrologically as well.

Ever thought that if people worked for extended years, neither golf courses nor marinas nor tennis courts would be over-crowded during week-days? These facilities would then be exclusively available to politicians and their lobbyist friends.

Commerce can only benefit from people working longer. The Japanese with an important aging population know too well that once retirement sets in, many of their citizens buy "their last car", even "their last pair of slippers". But that's the Japanese. Or is it only them?

The health industry by a broad definition represents almost 30% of GDP. The more older people there are who are still working, the better their coverage by employers. And all sorts of excesses can thereby continue.

Ecology: Now that's a controversial issue; the amount of travel done by retirees is no doubt a polution factor. If most of them were working for some additional years, the environment would benefit, not Las Vegas and similar resorts.

On the negative side of working up to age of 70, hereafter the main points ( trying not to repeat what's already known ), but looking at links with astrology:

As a general rule, quasi - statistically, the human life - span is astrologically defined by Uranus, 84 years for a full cycle. This also coincides with 3 x 28 years for Saturn and almost 7 cycles for Jupiter or almost 1/2 cycle for Neptune. Amazing mathematics!

Even clearer, as most of us get there in good health and full consciousness, is the half - cycle of a human life, age 42. This is also an often critical moment in our lives, known as "mid - life crisis". Around age 42, Uranus makes it's first and only opposition to itself on one's birth horoscope, Saturn then is squaring itself
(28+14=42) and Neptune is also almost squaring on itself. More or less, depending on retrogradation of these planets at the time of birth. But the mid - life thing is very real, from 42 to 45, give or take a few years. "Astrology" sure shows it's full effect then for many people.

Most humans are at their best career potential at this stage in their lives. For parents, children then become adults, and some "affairs" sometimes set in - including the marital complications that go with it.

Age 56, or around that, appears to be a much more interesting moment in our lives than what happens at mid-point 42-45. It's a pivot-point for many. Saturn then is completing it's second revolution, Uranus trines itself and Jupiter is conjunct (more or less) it's birth position. Astrologically a mostly harmonious passage. From the point of view of life-experience, a moment of maturity, fulfillment but also
a favorable time for looking ahead on how to "organize" one's last third of life, including of course one's retirement.

This moment coincides also with the birth of grand children. Giving to this age a kind of generational perspective. And, important for many self-employed, it's a good moment for planning on the type of succession they wish for their businesses.

But it's a phase for everybody, not just the self-employed, where some decisions regarding the future need to be taken. That is under normal conditions, when retirement would be before and at the latest at 65. If retirement becomes mandatory only later, say at 67-70, the incentive for some serious planning for the age beyond retirement becomes seriously amputated. There then is not enough interesting
time-space left worthy of any planning other then "will play some golf or similar".

Extending retirement age beyond 60-65 will deprive people of organizing for a distinct goal for retirement, ideally starting at around age 56. If condemned at that moment to think that the then routine/occupation/stress will fatally last until "the end of my life", there is trouble ahead: It's actually stealing from our freedom by not permitting to add a different chapter to one's life. More of the usual but no hope for anything creative anymore.

More in defense of the individualists then the conformists, the right to creativeness is more important than relative greater security and financial comfort at retirement. Knowing at age 56 that for another 14 years or so one's current routine will more or less continue, is oppressive. It's about similar to someone, as often happens, who, living in a huge apartment block in a big city, goes on vacation in another big concrete structure somewhere on a beach, say from New York to Miami. Where is the charm?

For some (maybe many) people, the idea of having still a window open on another chapter to one's life, after retirement, is all important. Our professional life often drags us into some routine which by far is not felt ideal, even oftentimes adverse to our health. Enough reason that such conditions not be prolonged.

In today's world, the economic "dictat" has precedence over all the rest. Some nevertheless feel that that's wrong. And from an astrological point of view there are solid reasons to believe that retirement should be at around age 56. But not for when it's too late.

Only the exceptional person will still have the physical force and drive at a late stage in life to do something meaningful and new. When still young, we tend to ignore that "time gets so-to-say geometrically shorter as we progress in age".

Question: if all the goodies we produce can not provide this type of alternative, even by accepting to reduce our standards of living to some extent, what's the point in producing the goodies in the first place? They actually are not goodies anymore, but soon turn into their contrary. Creating more and more dissatisfaction. It's a difficult re-think the industrial world would have to do. Without it, however,
it's a nasty perspective, indeed.

PS. How many Germans are secretly not thinking that the Greeks are right? And why should they sell their most charming islands to also drive a Mercedes?


Twilight said...

Good thoughts Gian Paul! I agree.
When most of us have worked for 45+ years with only vacation/sickness breaks, it ought not to be beyond the capabilities of the powers that be to organise things so that any who wish to do so can retire from, say 58 onwards with a national pension provided to supplement any private pensions.

As you say, it'd mean a simpler way of live overall though. No opulent luxuries, SUVs, massive TV screens, designer clothes, mansions, etc. etc. -A return to a version of how it used to be in the 1950s with enough to be comfortable, never in need, yet with our technologies 21st century-style, life could be very pleasant.

A simpler life-style for all could solve so many problems.

Pipe dreams....pipe dreams!

Wisewebwoman said...

The coffers are getting rather threadbare unfortunately for so, so many who have lived and above all TRUSTED that their RRSPs (IRAs to others) would grow modestly and provide.
Alas no more.
When I read of the 91 year old greeter at MallWart I know we were all doomed.
Excellent post.

Gian Paul said...

There is only experience which really can teach. Unfortunately everybody, taken in the mainstream from an early age and under the influence of what is youth- and forceful, succumbs to "our type of western life". Foremost that of an insatiable consumer. Until indigestion sets in, and that's then too late for most to change anything.

But there are indications, faint yet but growing, that the brute economic forces are meeting resistance. The masses may not perceive, but not least technology (the web, more easy information available) permit for the few to cut out their private niches. I could e.g. not be living were I do without that. Others may be able to organize their retirement earlier and differently because of technology as well. But probably few will want it or make the effort required.

If you think of your involvement with music, technology permits you to live anywhere in the world.

Astrology Unboxed said...

Good points of discussion. Retirement at 70 might be the reality for those who have seen their savings melt with the economic crisis of the last two years. For the younger generation of baby boomers (those born around the 1960's)who are closer to retirement age, the simpler life will not be a choice but a necessity coming out of poverty as they will not have enough time to recover what they lost with the recent economic crisis.
Retirement at 56/58 will be reserved for those who want everybody else to work until their 70's.
Either way, there is no easy solution except the acceptance that a simpler life would be beneficial for the planet. But this acceptance would come out more from a necessity than choice.

Gian Paul said...

Hi Wisewebwoman, first I should say that I admired your web-name from day one I saw it. You thereby discipline yourself to have to live up in expressing what you say...

This situation with retirement in many places got out of hand. Unfortunately it's late for many and life expectation increasing in general, it will hardly improve.

The privileged may find some niches of their own. For the others, let's at least sympathize.

Gian Paul said...

Hi Fabienne, as an active astrologer in SF you may find plenty of opportunity to help people yet unsuspecting that they need counseling in view of their retirement.

Most of us tend to drift into retirement with no intelligent planning. And then it's often irreversible or to late.

Rossa said...

I had to laugh today. The media are reporting that you have to be 55 before you are really happy! Can tell it's the silly season can't you ;-)

Talk about moving the goalposts. When I was 30 I was told life began at 40. Then 50 was touted as the new 40 and now I have to wait another 3.5 years! Yeah right, not!

S*d it! I'm already happy so they can put their theory somewhere else...ooops was almost very rude there something to with the sun and nether regions. Sorry T.

Gian Paul said...

Hi Rossa, why not try the following:
Open that bottle of Chateau St. Estèphe which you had set aside for your 55th birthday now and enjoy it?

Unless you prefer Burgundy...