I know many people have worked so hard for most of their lives that they look forward to retirement because they are perhaps tired and need to relax and enjoy the rest of lives on earth. There is really no ideal age as to when people should retire but I believe no one wants to retire and still have to work so hard.
I believe people should be able to retire when they are in a good financial position to do so. Unfortunately, some people do not have a choice as to when they should retire. If you are working in the public sector in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the retirement age is 60 years. At one point it used be to 55 and so I was pleased when retirement age was augmented by 5 years. I believe that retiring at age 60 is too early and therefore another review is needed.
Why retiring at age 60 is too early?
You see while it is true that individuals can tap into their retirement benefits at age 60 from the National Insurance Board, they do not get the full benefits until age 65. This means for 5 years, they will not get their full benefits. This alone is one reason why retiring age 60 is too early. I think the Government should match the retirement age to that of the National Insurance.
Some people rely heavily on the retirement benefits from the National Insurance. However, the truth is the money that you get is not that significant. If you are 60 and still paying mortgage, then you will need to have extra income to maintain your standard of living and to pay your bills. Therefore, if you do not have any savings and you do not have any form of additional income, retiring at age 60 is too early.
Personally, I think age 60 is still young and 60 year olds have a lot to offer to the country especially if you are a teacher, a nurse or a doctor. In the Turks and Caicos Islanders we have a shortage of locals in these areas and when we let them go, we will have to replace them with expatriates. This alone is another reason why we should not let our teachers, nurses and doctors go home at age 60. I think what we need to do is to encourage these individuals to enroll in continuing professional educational courses so they can be up to date in their field. As a professional accountant, it is mandatory that I enroll in 40 hours of continuing professional education annually in order to maintain my CPA license. Let us keep our teachers, nurses and doctors employed. Do not sent them home at age 60.
I honestly believe that the retirement age for anyone should line with up with the retirement age of 65 that is set by the National Insurance Board. Too many of our people retired at age 60 and have to continue to work because they cannot afford to live off what they are getting from National Insurance. In addition, some people are bored staying at home so it best we keep these individuals occupied by increasing the retirement age. Also as mentioned in the aforementioned, individuals aged 60 and over still have a lot to offer. Why sent them home when we get as much knowledge from them. I do hope the Government reviews the retirement age soon and increase it to age 65.
Obviously if you are in a good financial position, you can retire at any age. However, too many people in TCI are living from paycheck to paycheck and therefore cannot afford to retire early.