Nothing is Certain – Not Even Retirement

Some of us await the day we retire with greater impatience, others with less.

And yet, any politician attempting to raise the retirement age finds himself in trouble. Take for example French President Macron, who tried to increase the retirement age by two years, only to face rebellion from the French.

Retirement depends on various factors. For example, if someone enjoys their work, they are not in a hurry to retire. The same goes when someone needs to continue working.

In any case, the day of retirement seems like a pleasant event, if not a dream. Like a reward for a lifetime of work. Like the beginning of a new phase of life, calmer, less strenuous.

Here’s how Greek expatriate Thomas Soukakos, who closed his restaurant (Omega Ouzeri) in Seattle, Washington after years of operation, describes his decision to retire and return to Greece with his wife:
“…the time has come… to spend more time in Greece, more walks on the beach, more time for sunrises and sunsets, reunite with family, open the doors for friends to visit, more sunshine, less rain, new experiences, new chapters.”

However, many of us may be planning the trip without checking with the… hotelier.

Perhaps we take this day for granted, when we shouldn’t. And we shouldn’t, either because of concerns about health – and death, for example – or for economic reasons.

A recent poll found that one in four Americans aged 50 and older say they will never be able to retire because they don’t have enough money to retire. Unfortunately, Social Security benefits usually aren’t enough to cover the gap.

Years go by very quickly. But when we’re young, we don’t realize it. We think we’ll be young forever and able to work, that we won’t get sick, and that we’ll be able to take care of ourselves forever.

But that’s not how things are, as we learn when we’ve grown up.


This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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