Friday, November 16, 2007

Retirement is for the dogs

The French are en grève at the moment. What's new. This time it's about pension reform, which has been attempted by at least the past two administrations to no avail.

Two thoughts come to mind:

1) The French should be extremely grateful to have a state-funded pension program that works. Here in the US, social security doesn't come close to comparing to a true pension. We have to voluntarily save for our own retirement which isn't always easy to do.

2) Those few workers who, under Sarkozy's plan, will have to work 40 years before retirement instead of 37.5, should hear both sets of my grandparents talk about retirement: it ain't all it's cracked up to be. One grandfather went back to work part-time 2 years after retirement and worked until 6 months before he died. He was miserable during those two years. The other grandfather is bored out of his mind. It's hard to make hobbies and volunteer work fill 40+ hours a week.

In in any case, I really hope Sarkozy is determined enough to get his reforms through. The situation doesn't look too hot.

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