Australia is the greatest place to live on Earth, unless you’re nearing retirement age and want to continue working.
Sixty used to be a time when you were considered old. Now, with life expectancy well into the 80’s few Aussies really want to put the cue in the rack and retire when they are mentally and physically very capable.
Some work on through necessity, but many because they know they have so much more to give and love doing what they do.
However, the Aussie obsession with youth sees many people in their mental prime ‘moved on’ to make way for younger people. I know youth unemployment is a major issue but that is the subject of another discussion.
A massive knowledge resource is being lost when it could be used to help run our country better, creating more demand and more wealth.
As a nation we compare ourselves more than favourably with “Big Brother” USA.
However, when it comes to treating the Baby Boomer generation with respect they have it all over us. Having a career in the media I watch closely what’s happening in other countries.
Don Imus does a nationally syndicated breakfast radio show on WABC New York. He recently signed a three year extension on his contract. So what? you say, but Imus is 73.
The broadcaster who follows him at 10 am is Geraldo Rivera who only started at WABC last year. He’s 70.
Popular morning TV show host Regis Philbin retired in 2011, aged 80 but he still makes regular TV appearances.
Barbara Walters retired from ABC News and as co-host of The View last year, although she remains the executive producer for as long as it’s on the air. Age 85.
It’s not only in the media the US is way ahead in its dealing with older citizens.
Mark Kenny writing in The Fairfax press pointed out that if Hillary Clinton is elected President in 2016 she will be in her 70th year.
John McCain ran for US president against Barrack Obama in 2008 when he was 72. He’s considering running for a sixth term in the senate next year when he will be 78.
Notice a theme developing?
Meanwhile, back in Australia, High Court Justice Kenneth Hayne will be adjudged as officially too old to make legal rulings when he hits the legislated retirement age of 70 in June.
A great mind with a lifetime of experience put out to pasture.
This is a story that can be told in many industries and businesses around the nation. We’re not talking about jobs that requires huge physical effort that would tax an older body. That is an entirely different situation. This is about trading our the old model for a new one.
Forcing so many able-bodied and able-minded Australians out of work and onto social welfare is creating a problem this country can’t handle.
By keeping those who want to work in the labour force is a win – win. Experience you can’t buy helping the economy and generating revenue to help support those who can’t support themselves.
Bring on young talent by all means but don’t lose mature-age talented people along the way.
Political and business leaders be warned – Baby boomers have been a massive and influential sector of our nation, ignore their wishes at your peril.