In Western culture, we currently view retirement as a right, not a privilege. It’s become an entitlement we consider as necessary as health care, education, and freedom. According to this article on WBUR, the retirement concept and lifestyle is relatively new. Although the concept was created around 1900 (A Brief History of Retirement), it really became popular when the Baby Boomer generation was entering the workforce, but there were not enough jobs for this generation.
Social Security (an ingenious Ponzi Scheme bringing in revenue for the government under a guise of workers insurance) was invented in 1935, but did not popularize retirement. Alright, so it’s not quite the same formula as a Ponzi Scheme, the government calls it an insurance plan (LA Times Article), but the formula was designed to work with a pyramid population expansion which has not been consistent, and is not sustainable in the future.
Now the new generations (X and Y) are chasing down the Baby Boomers for their jobs, but the boomers plan to keep working. As we have seen with housing, jobs, and social security, we need to modernize our social programs, and economy to address the reduced population size with subsequent generations.
But this probably won’t happen until it’s absolutely necessary.
Dispair.com view on Retirement