Many of our friends are a similar age to us. They are now taking turns to retire. Have you noticed, dear reader, that you hear so many different things about retirement?

There is one person who worked in the same business for over 40 years. He was given a big farewell party. The boss stood on a chair at the farewell reception and gave a great speech about him. The staff collected money for a big farewell gift. And there were two photo books in which everyone wrote down their thoughts, wishes and stories that they had experienced with the retiree.

There is the other one: her retirement coincided with the lockdown. No farewell, no celebration, just a brief final discussion and everyone was relieved because the big, upcoming changes were no longer their thing. And the young, new bosses "dynamized" and pushed through restructuring in which "the old" no longer seem to have any place.

A person we know very well was brought back to work after retirement with a cry for help! The succession did not work out. Another person had to stay at home during the lockdown as a high-risk person. During this time, the entire workplace was cleared away - without any information and with the statement: "You're retiring at the end of June anyway."

On July 14, 2020, an article about Japan appeared in the Basler Zeitung with the title "Retirement is a thing of the past." Tokyo journalist Thomas Hahn describes Japanese senior citizens as people being courted. There is a "Center for Silver Human Capital" there that provides senior citizens with new training - personnel that is lacking in Japan, for example to clean rooms, look after trees, drive the community bus. These people over 65 are supposed to, on the one hand, cushion the collapsed pension system and, on the other hand, replace the missing young people. 28.4 percent of Japanese are 65 years old or older.

A lack of young talent and skilled workers is a problem in Japan. The situation is similar here in Switzerland. Nevertheless, you hear and read about early retirements, the elimination of jobs for older employees and a somewhat disrespectful treatment of older employees.

“Silver human capital”: This word alone symbolizes the appreciation of older people! In my opinion, such appreciation should be practiced a little more in our beautiful Swiss working world. Companies could adapt to the new situation and take into account that older employees may work a little slower, but perhaps also a little more precisely and thoughtfully. With care. With experience. And with a look over the tip of their nose.

Dear Seniors@Workers: You are in demand! You are “silver human capital”! Always remember that and be proud of it! No matter how your retirement went: you are still in demand.

Beatrice Isler

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