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"Work now, enjoy later?"

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

In the contemporary era, the traditional paradigm of "work in youth to enjoy retirement" is facing a rethinking. The philosophy of "living in the moment" resonates more and more in today's society, challenging decades of labor and economic norms.


Origins of "Work now, enjoy later"


- 19th Century: Amidst the Industrial Revolution, the working world changed drastically, leading people to hardened working conditions in factories.


- 1930s: The USA introduces Social Security, setting the retirement age at 65, based on the life expectancy at the time: 58 years for men and 62 for women.


- 1950s: Retirement is visualized as a period of rest after years of labor.


- 1960s-1970s: Sociocultural movements question the idea of "living only to work," driving a balanced approach between labor and leisure.


- 1980s: With globalization and technological advances, long-term employment in a single company begins to fade.


- 2000s: The 2008 crisis jeopardizes the security of pensions, emphasizing the need to diversify income.


- 2010: Life expectancy extends to 70 years globally, according to the World Bank.


- 2019: In OECD countries, the retirement age ranges between 62 and 67 years, but many work beyond due to economic concerns.


- Present Day: Younger generations, like millennials, value experiences over goods and lean towards a minimalist lifestyle.


The Renaissance of "Living in the Moment"


Cultural change and socioeconomic advancements have led to questioning the postponement of life until retirement. With better health and longer longevity, there's a drive towards a work and personal life balance from the beginning of the professional life.


Economic Impact on Life Decisions


Let's take the example of someone who chooses a modest lifestyle, saving and investing from a young age. This person could afford work flexibility in their 30s or 40s. Conversely, those who follow the conventional path, accumulating debts and postponing savings, might work beyond 65 years, awaiting an uncertain future.


In Summary


Opting to live in the present does not dismiss responsibilities or future planning. It's a balance between current and future goals, allowing to enjoy each stage of life. By challenging conventions and embracing the "living in the moment," the door to a more fulfilling life is opened, without relying on retirement to start enjoying it.


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