In 1881, Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of united Germany, designed the concept of “retirement”. The ideal time, he said, would be 70 years of age. Back then, people simply didn’t retire. If you were alive, you worked. It was a revolutionary idea given that the life expectancy of a German worker was around 45. Bismarck, and others who followed suit, didn’t expect workers to outlive their retirement savings. But with the phenomenal advances in medicine, increased longevity is now a reality which poses a serious welfare challenge. The Baby Boomers retirement conundrum is a story which has been widely told. A largely American concept, Baby Boomers refers to a generation of people born in the 1940s to the early 1960s. The term was coined because the US saw a dramatic increase in the number of births after World War II – quite literally a baby boom. This generation has reached the traditional retirement age of 60 to 65 and yet are reluctant or unable to retire. The effect of thi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.