So, my Dad hits 65 today. It's one of those special ages that actually means something, rather like 16 means you can shag, 17 means you can drive and 18 means you can drink. Yes, 65 means you can stop. My Dad stopped as soon as the opportunity presented itself, back when his age still began with a five. Good move. This meant he didn't treat retirement as stopping at all, but started doing even more because now he had the time to do so. He's busier now than he ever was before, within the local community at least. Maybe life doesn't begin at 40 after all, but rather later.
Me, I still have a long way to go before I can stop. I checked. The Department for Work and Pensions reliably inform me that "You have 27 years until you reach state pension age." Hell, I've only been working for 16 years so far, so I'm not even halfway to stopping yet, not by a long way (come back in December 2008 and I'll tell you what halfway feels like). In the meantime, I reckon I still have about six thousand working days to go before my official stopping date, that's fourteen hundred weeks (and fourteen hundred Monday mornings). And that's assuming that no present or future government shifts the goalposts before I get there, adding even more years (and even more Mondays), just because the UK can't afford to pay us all if everyone stops too early. I'm sure most of us would like to stop early, like my Dad, but I suspect fewer and fewer of us will get the chance as we get older. Pity, because the later you get to stop, the less time you get to carry on and enjoy the health you have left. Cheers Dad, and long may yours continue.