The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”


Everyone on earth is getting older. Obviously! But what happens when people retire? Many people we knew deteriorate rapidly when they suddenly don’t have anything to do. They feel useless. You have to have something to work on. Keep the mind busy. Learn a language, write or start painting.

Our friend Monte Guild (Guild Investment Management) assembled these astonishing stats:

When Social Security was introduced in the United States in 1935, the retirement age was set at 65 — but life expectancy was 58 for men, and 62 for women.

In 1940, over-65s represented about 6.8 percent of the population; now that figure has more than doubled, to 14.5 percent.  In Japan, the figure is now 26 percent.

Plainly, the architects of the 20th century’s socially funded retirement programs never imagined that a quarter or more of the population would be out of the work force.  Since the retirement age was set close to average life expectancy, it was obviously thought that most people would work until very close to the time that they died.

Note how tricky: the government set the retirement age and eligibility above the average life expectancy.

This gives the industrialized world a tremendous, but unused, labor force of experienced people. Why not find a way to utilize all that talent. One deterrent is that any money the retirement people make reduces their social security benefits. Why? It is their money that they have put into SS over the years.

Our public “servants” should look at this. There is lots of talent, in many cases great education during times when our schools still taught something useful.

There are job sites for retired people. Here is one: