The pandemic, raised by the global coronavirus or COVID-19, appears to have forced many to go past the exit door of employment, but the more fortunate ones have found themselves still in the company payroll or were rehired.
In the Philippines, the pandemic, according to official data, has greatly affected health, jobs and rights of the population, with the highest unemployment rate at one point registering 17.6 percent during the first implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine.
To date, there have been 4.12 million confirmed cases, with 66,466 deaths.
For people who work after retirement, experts say these people often remain more active and socially connected, which can mean better overall health and fewer medical issues.
Some have said: “Very often, some people work for money and/or health benefits. Some work for the money to travel and/or do things they are interested in, such as hobbies. Other people work because they feel valuable doing the work, and it gives them a sense of purpose. Or, a retiree might work due to any combination of the above.”
Traditional retirement age
Some researchers have said people of traditional retirement age don’t want to stop working.
Does this sound strange? Isn’t the whole point of retirement to sit back, relax, and enjoy your life?
We had the opportunity to exchange views with one, Philippine-educated medical technologist but is, while nearing the elderly zone, still working at Kaiser Permanent Regional Laboratories as the Assistant Director of Operations in California.
The Paoay, Ilocos Norte-born Marjorie Perdido was recently given the GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Award for Southern California Regional Offices for supporting the Kaiser Permanente mission, vision and values. October, 2022 – Outstanding Manager of Southern California.
The 59-year-old mother of one daughter—she’s turning 60 on May 30—says “I am living my life to the fullest each day, trying to be more active by walking” and remains active with the civic organization Annak Ti Paoay Foundation as president—a group of people from the northwestern town of Paoay in Ilocos Norte.
While she admits stress is always present in life, “it is how you handle and avoid the stressors.”
In the Philippines, people who reach 60, assuming good health, can opt for early retirement.
But in California, Social Security’s full-benefit retirement age is increasing gradually because of legislation passed by Congress in 1983.
Traditionally, the full benefit age was 65, and early retirement benefits were first available at age 62, with a permanent reduction to 80 percent of the full benefit amount.
Currently, the full benefit age is 66 years and twp months for people born in 1955, and it will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
Early retirement benefits will continue to be available at age 62, but they will be reduced more.
Official sources say when the full-benefit age reaches 67, benefits taken at age 62 will be reduced to 70 percent of the full benefit and benefits first taken at age 65 will be reduced to 86.7 percent of the full benefit.
There is a financial bonus for delayed retirement.
An individual reaching the full-benefit age in 2017 (66 years and two months old) receives a monthly benefit that is 8 percent higher for each year he or she delays collecting benefits until the latest claiming age of 70, at which point benefits are 132 percent of what they would have been at the normal retirement age.
Official sources say when the full benefit age reaches 67, benefits claimed at age 70 will be 24 percent higher because of that delay.
The maximum retirement benefit in 2017 for someone who waits until age 70 to collect benefits is $3,538 a month.
Perdido, replying to a question, said people who decide to go back to work after retirement remain more active and socially connected, which means being more active in mind and in better health.
But she admits that recently, the erstwhile physically energetic person – she goes to bed at 9 and sleeps at 10 or 11 pm and wakes up at 5.30 am – felt her body getting weaker.
The 1.65-meter Perdido philosophizes: “I think that age is just a number. I might say I am 60 but, in my heart, I am only 40. Everything gets better with age. I never let my fear get in the way of my dreams. I have created a life I am proud of. I enjoy my life each day.”
She adds: “When I was younger, I used to worry so much about what people say. My value goes up with age. I feel like I am an antique, the higher the age, the more valuable.
“In the beginning, I was not mentioning my age. But I realized that it is achievement to get to this age. So now, I am no longer ashamed to tell my age when they ask for it. (and) make every moment count; live in the present moment.”
Like many we have met, she stands by the Golden Rule as her personal philosophy, adding “treat everyone well.”
Some attribute the Golden Rule to the influential Chinese philosopher Confucius, who made it an unrivaled centerpiece of his philosophy of life (The Analects, 1962).
But the ancient Greek rhetorician, Isocrates, not to be confused with classical Greek philosopher, Socrates, taught his students the following: “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you.”