Someday it will matter to us too!!!!

That someday would be the day just before our retirement comes....!
And that day seemed to have come too quickly for Gyeltshen Sir who now superannuated from service. Thirty nine years of service only brought him memories of struggle. As he sat on one of the guest chairs at pension office and handing his superannuation orders and running through figures of provident fund accumulation, million thoughts rummaged through his mind. Thirty nine years of service was not enough for Gyeltshen Sir like James Bond Movie “World Is Not Enough”. It was not enough because he was not prepared to face his post retirement years. He said he was now resting his old bones after years of hard work and struggle but deep inside, there was this restlessness of having to adjust with changed lifestyle and sudden drop in income.
Many Bhutanese today superannuate from service with a sense of loss and apprehension. They are neither prepared for new lifestyle nor are they willing to let go off their old ones. Having worked with many pensioners, both civilians and members of the Armed Forces, it makes me sad to see that Bhutanese pensioners keep facing difficulties which could have been avoided by forethought and planning. It is ever more painful for me when I see pensioners trying to sustain himself in present by way of reputation and memories.
Although civil servants retire at minimum age of fifty six, it is important however, to learn and develop required expertise to cope with retirement as early as forty years and start accumulating the necessities required to make post retirement life comfortable.
My interview with many pensioners has made me believe that  post retirement period means waiting for death. While we wait for death, we have got to live and for that very reason, it is important to view retirement years as beginning of new life or change in status. We go through numerous change in status in our lives...when we come of age to go to school, then go to high school, complete education, graduate, find job, marry, divorce!!!! and get married again...there are string of events and also of life. So retirement is a whole new life experience.
It can be enriched and successful if people start planning early in life.  Sometimes I feel that Bhutanese are wasting away not only resources, time and energy if they are only sitting and counting “Mani” beads but also depriving themselves of much enjoyment and satisfaction.
When a person retires, there is a danger of unproductive leisure filling his life. Satisfying work does not necessarily be associated with salary. One can cultivate special tastes. In fact many people have developed artistic, literary or scholarly interests which makes retirement era a valuable period.
Every pensioner should develop skills which could add benefit to community. He can enrich our society. Such person leaves heritage. Sometimes the time they provide may be of greater value than the monetary contribution. This should be an acceptable challenge for all the pensioners.
Actually every pensioner have abilities that can be used. It may be worthwhile to explore skills and resources in pensioners.Retirement is about doing things you never had enough time for while working.
Any pension scheme is not designed to provide a life of luxury but to  provide a sense of security. When you retire, your expenses are reduced too because  you pay less for daily transportation to office or work, parking fees, petrol, canteen bill.
Retirement is a time to take up new and useful occupations depending upon one’s capabilities. A lazy existence  is exactly the opposite of being alive and it doesn’t contribute to person’s dignity.
 As for Gyeltshen Sir, he has been asked by his daughter to look after her son for now.


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