Commentary: With so much to do as we grow older, can we ever ‘fully’ retire?

Commentary: With so much to do as we grow older, can we ever ‘fully’ retire?

Even better, I have time to take care of my grandchildren, which keeps me both active and thinking young. I marvel at how the world they’re growing up in has changed so much from the time when my own children were doing so. My wife and I try to adapt and provide new guidance for new challenges, but still have the privilege of being part-time doting caregivers.


In a sense, health permitting, I will probably never fully retire. I am grateful that I have found meaningful pursuits, and will continue being involved in these, whether in paid or voluntary roles.

At the same time, I will certainly want to continue spending time with the family and the grandkids as they grow up.

I am humbled as well by friends and acquaintances who, with seemingly less materially, are even more active in serving others around them in big or small ways. Some gave up promising careers early in life to serve in missions or charity work, and even in “retirement”, continue to support those causes.

It is said that if you choose a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life. I might add that if you find a purpose other than money and power, you will probably never stop working – happily so.

Having retired twice in the last 12 years, I can say that retirement is an experience each of us must determine for ourselves based on our circumstances. My own outlook and actual practice of retirement will continue to evolve.

Cesar Balota is a Singaporean management professional who has remained active in outreach groups since “retiring” from a non-profit organisation in 2019.