Volume 4 – Independence in Retirement
Most people, perhaps all people, seek a high level of Independence in their Retirement. This Series discusses the main elements of an independent life in retirement.
Issue #7 – Government
To begin with, this Series is not a political forum, so the question of Independence from Government is a philosophical issue and in some respects a personal impact issue.
The reach of Olderhood is worldwide. That means that there are so many varieties of Government influence and intervention in people’s lives in a range of countries. Yet it is fair to say that by and large, most people would like to run their lives in as “Free” a manner as possible.
In other words, while people must rely on Government for regulations and “policing” the vast majority of us would prefer to get on with our lives as we choose.
While things like taxation, in particular, are always controversial, and while few of us like to pay taxes, we nonetheless realise that taxation is a fact of life. But beyond that, we would like to make our decisions in life based on our own feelings and emotions and needs, in the absence of interference from “big brother”.
Yet do we want the best of both worlds?
If for example, we have private health insurance and it has kept us well for years, then if for some reason it runs out so to speak, do we expect the “state” to step in and take care of us for the rest of our lives..? If we do have a genuine belief that the nation will step in and provide health care under such circumstances, then where do we draw the line between Intervention and Independence.?
Yes, there are people around the world who are vehemently opposed to any form of Government intervention in their lives. Some of them, in fact, would even barricade themselves away from daily life as most of us know it. Those people are obviously fully entitled to their views, but most of us wonder why those folks are so adamantly opposed to their own Governments.
Probably the easiest conclusion to reach about the quest for Independence by Retirees, in this case, from Government, is that most of us may have some grand notion that we can do without Government, and that we can handle our own issues, but the truth is that we need Government support in many areas of our life.
In fact, as we age, we are probably more in need of the external provisions that Government provides – security, controls over health care and prescriptions, some form of free, or at least subsidised, travel, and of course state pensions.
However, having said that, we really would like Government to pay attention much more closely to the needs of the Retiree. For example, serious recognition that we have little, if any, opportunity, to add to our existing, fixed, incomes … so therefore pensions should be monitored and at the very least, regularly adjusted for inflation.
Most people will always want a fair and reasonable amount of Government involvement in their lives while still being aware that their ability to influence which type of Government they want remains, and that their voting strengths makes them a formidable force and a very strong (and growing) segment of our overall community. Politicians please listen to us !!!