Challenging Stereotypes: A Conversation on Retirement with Retirees

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We’ve gathered heartfelt responses from our community members, all centred around a single question : “If you could change one thing about the way people view retirees, what would it be and why?”

Explore their insightful perspectives on reshaping perceptions of retirees and unlocking the wisdom and potential they bring to our society.

M R Udayakumar

Retired from HAL, Bangalore as GM of Facilities & Energy. Currently, I have started my renewable energy firm as founder and director. My interests are travelling, photography, and so much more.

Retirees are valuable resources in their respective domains. The potential of retirees should be utilised rather than neglected. Of course, there may be a decline in energy levels. However, it can be overcome with constant encouragement from near and dear.

Chinmay Chakravarty

After a stint of over 36 years in the media sector of the Government of India, I retired as Director of the Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November 2019 and am now self-employed as a full-time writer-author.

When retirees visit their old offices, the working guys shoot a frisbee at them, calling them time-pass guys. However, retirees who have not only mastered the digital-age skills but also have the emotional intelligence to manage the staff with disparate behavioural patterns and even to educate the bosses, catch the flying disc correctly shooting it back with the display “you’d do better to try to learn from us still!”

Neeru Soni

I am a retired Academic Coordinator. My hobbies are gardening and macramé.

Once retired, they have nothing to do. They become inactive and lack discipline. Simply not true!

Lakshmi Sankaran

I am a small-town girl born, brought up, and got an education until MCA in Tamil Nadu. Settled for a job in the SAP (Largest ERP product) in Bangalore. On a career break in my late 40s and to pursue teaching, am completing a PhD in cloud computing.

Retirement is a stage in life that everyone will eventually reach, so plan for it rather than against it. Begin to accept its reality by discussing it with your friends and family. This will help you and your loved ones accept that you will be entering a new phase of life which brings in lifestyle changes. When I look back at my life, I notice that retirement does affect the normal flow of life and encroaches on the space of younger folks, but it is not conducive to look back at it and lament over it due to its impact on others.

Sunil Gupta

I was head of Business Development in derivatives exchange in Indonesia. Now, I want to contribute to increasing financial literacy until can get a full-time job.

I will build a network of people who understand and appreciate the work one has done before retiring. This ensures companies will see value in people after retirement because of this network of people.

Kesheo Prasad Dubey

I have functioned as Post & Role of Ex PCCF, Wildlife & Chief Wildlife Warden, Uttar Pradesh. Presently involved in the pursuit of nature-based solutions, climate change adaptation and mitigation, green building and construction, Green Economic Transformation, etc.

People’s perception of retirees may be changed by driving home the rich experience, knowledge and wisdom that can be made available for productive and beneficial uses in various sectors or settings!
They have already served before or are likely to serve now onwards without disturbing, harming or suppressing any individual, group or societal interests while adding rich values to the very cause served.

Rajendra Singh

I am the Vice director of a Greek Community School.

Age should not be a factor. People can remain active even after retirement. Age is, after all, a number.

Dr Rajneesh Sachdev

I am presently working as Director and Head of Food Science and Technology at IKGPTU, Jalandhar. I love to mentor the students in grades 10 and 12 to provide the right direction at this critical juncture.

Retirement is the start of a new innings in which one can pursue their interest at will. Moreover, with experience on one’s side, you can live life fully with personal growth as well as contribution to society.

Mithilesh Sadashiv Jatar

I am a senior HR Professional with nearly 4 decades of expertise.

The general impression is that retirees are not motivated to work and contribute. Retirees are not flexible and cannot bring new ideas to the conversation. This must change. Make experience count!

Eveline Patricia Shanthini Maxime

I am a very active person! I have been involved in the facilities management business for the past 35 years.

Why is there an age for retirement? Let people enjoy what they are doing until they can!

E Sridharan

I am an objective-driven Accounts Officer who has served in the PSU with 30 years of experience in finance management and analysis.

Retirees are often portrayed as frail, forgetful, and unproductive. However, these stereotypes are not always accurate. Many retirees are healthy, active, and engaged in their communities. They volunteer, travel, and pursue hobbies and interests they didn’t have time for when working.

Moreover, retirees possess a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be valuable to others. They can serve as mentors to younger people, sharing their wisdom and helping them navigate life’s challenges. They can also be active participants in the workforce, taking on part-time or consulting roles that allow them to continue using their skills and expertise.

It’s of utmost importance to recognise that retirees are diverse people with different backgrounds, interests, and abilities. Rather than making assumptions based on age or retirement status, people should view each person as an individual and value their unique contributions to society to provide a conducive environment for the betterment of humankind.

Suhas Doshi

I am an entrepreneur and a veteran finance and operations professional, with experience running a business and 'making things work' keeping practical realities in mind.

Should there be a change in the way people view retirees? Yes & no.

Yes, for natural fine-tuning for retirement and age. We call retirement a second innings, and the second innings of a test match comes to my mind; it is part of the same test match. Nothing changes.

You need to play better in the second innings than in the first innings. The pitch (life) has become familiar, and you have become more experienced, mature, and familiar with the opposition, environment, and surroundings. Here, note the word ‘play’- work done as play becomes play, and play played as work becomes work. The second inning is an opportunity to improve, correct, and re-play! I would love to have another go at it. You are getting to bat, bowl and field again, a fresh start in the same match. You should not sit on the laurels you have earned in the first innings. You should not get complacent, as the whole match matters. You have played for yourself. You have played your role in the game. Do not expect medals from the team or spectators as yet. You need to continue playing well in the second innings as in the first.

As a retiree, I do not expect any different treatment from others. I would like all the love, care, respect, and support required to remain the same in both innings. For me, the change in perspective creates more complications. I have played my first innings with intuition, taking care of my role and bringing the interests of all concerned to fruition. I want to continue learning in this inning and add value through what I have learned in the first one.

B Raj Kumar

I was a Service and Operations manager till November 2021. I am now passionately pursuing writing poetry and novels in English.

Retirees are dependent on others. Provide retirees with a consistent source of monthly income through paid meaningful opportunities; without it, they will become dependent.

Yasmin Sait

I had the best of opportunities to work in diverse industries like retail and entertainment as a "Momager" for my kids, and now I am an author, counsellor, and life purpose coach.

Firstly, I may not be able to change the way people want to view things since everyone is opinionated and has a unique perception of anything and everything.

Instead, I could train myself to make wise choices on how I live my life. I believe there is no retirement until one has left the mortal plane.

Suman Chakravarty

About me:

I am a civil engineer who has worked in the construction sector for over three decades. My last assignment was as General Manager (Civil Infrastructures) at Wipro Limited. Presently, I conduct workshops to bridge the gap in academic learning and real-world experience in recent civil engineer graduates.

Most people see a retiree as an aged person, not eligible for jobs, and a liability to society. This mindset of people can and must be changed. Retirees should be given opportunities to engage in meaningful activities for as long as they desire. They can engage themselves in a field of their experience. They should be financially independent to the extent possible.

Swati Kundu

About me:

I’m a hard nut to crack!

Age is just a number. Take life as it comes, respect other people’s views, and remember old is gold! We all learn from experience.

Anantha Sayana

About me:

After retiring from a large corporation as a technology leader, I have begun to learn Sanskrit and Carnatic music.

“Retirees are weak and sick. They are not conversant with technology, or up to date with the latest topics that the youth are interested in, or they enjoy preaching and giving advice.” These preconceived notions are not true! People need to look beyond them and engage with seniors with an open mind.

Renu Daniel

About me: 

I have worked in administration and HR for various MNCs. I’ve taken up teaching as a tutor post my sabbatical and am pursuing my hobbies. 

Why are retirees made to feel redundant? Society should en-cash on their work and life experience.

They must feel wanted and their potential should be explored more. Age must not be a factor or hindrance when considering someone for a role. Financial independence will allow a retiree to live their with ease, confidence, and grace life.

A retiree does not just sit at home, become their children’s dependent, and are simply waiting for the end.

In my opinion, work will allow retirees to feel fulfilled, wanted, and happy. Nowadays, with the increase in life span and medical advancements, most retirees are healthy and able to work for a long long time. Please use their potential!

Lakhanlal Mishra

About me: 

The last position I held was Manager – Excise at Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd, Raigarh, Chattishgarh. I am now imparting Financial consultancy mainly in Government subsidy schemes. My hobby is helping others become financially independent.

Retirement does not suddenly cause a loss in desire and passion to make an impact. It actually gives us time to partake in activities that we weren’t able to do earlier. We can perform acts of service in society and even take on social service acts that the younger generation may not be able to.

To share your articles, blogs, and other written content related to your post-retirement experience, write to us at 

Featured image credits: Saonli Sen Choudhury of WisdomCircle

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