Top 3 Reasons Not to Retire

If possible, avoid it as long as possible.

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Comments (12)

(10) Anonymous, November 1, 2014 1:07 PM


This is excellent! Thank you so so so much for posting this!

(9) Henry Bodzin, October 30, 2014 11:25 PM

it all depends

Well, Rabbi, it all depends on how much you enjoy your job. I loved my job for most of my work life but the last few years, due to management changes, it was awful work. My wife wanted to keep working so money was an OK situation and I am very glad I stopped working at 55. I have found many places to volunteer my time which provide intellectual stimulation. And I've found more time for learning, which has benefits beyond description. For the last twelve years, I have never once regretted my situation, thank G-d.

We recently moved to a different city, far from all we know (except our grandchildren). If I had to work here I would never have had a chance to find my place in this new kehila.

The world is never a "one solution fits all" place.

Dovid, November 10, 2014 4:17 PM

same thing

You did exactly what the rabbi suggested - retired TO something. Torah learning and volunteering,etc. But many men really have nothing to do at all. In my community the men go back to kollel. You never saw a happier group of men. I look forward to that time too.I'm actually longing for it. Two more years.

(8) Ron Kleiman, October 30, 2014 5:14 PM

For me it was right

Rabbi, thank you so much for your views. It seems to me that most people spend their lives as observers and not participants. They require something to fill up the hours, and prevent the emptiness and the disrepair of being unproductive. Weekdays at work, evenings and weekends in front of the TV, entertained into believing the hours have been filled while in reality remaining empty. In my opinion this was never meant to be our reality. I believe that a great part of this stems from our definition of ourselves, the mistaken belief that what I do for a living is my reason for existence. A human soul is a terrible thing to waste. it has the capacity for unlimited growth to allow itself to be challenged, be stressed and emerge ever greater. I have found my fulfillment within my hobbies, study, children and grandchildren. Boredom is something that I rarely encounter. Yes I wholeheartedly agree that you MUST retire to, not from otherwise it may not work out as you planned.

(7) Anonymous, October 30, 2014 4:06 PM

Your advice was exactly what my husband always advised his patients...

My husband retired at 59 because it was finally feasible to do so and his practice had been changing drastically, not to mention the entire medical profession in general with the impending socialization of medicine. We have been Torah observant for about 15 years now and he began learning Torah even when he was still working full time and then part time. He says that everything he learned as a physician doesn't begin to equal the infinite information and knowledge of learning gemara which he now does almost every day. We even came to learn full time to Yerushalayim a couple of years ago and would still be there if my cancer had not become active and we had to return to the states for my treatment. He continues to learn by skyping with a rabbi in Yerushalayim and with another Talmud chacham from Florida and perhaps with another rabbi from Phoenix soon. So he is VERY busy with his learning and absolutely LOVES his retirement. Another thing, now that he is frum, he has a chevra of male friends and acquaintances like he hasn't had since his high school days. There is a kind of men's unity in the minyans he attends unlike anything that there is in the secular world.

(6) Eben, October 30, 2014 3:52 PM


Excellent video, completely agree with Rabbi....nothing in nature retires so why should we. Mental stimulation offsets the effects of forgetfulness, which is common in an older person.

(5) Dvirah, October 29, 2014 4:13 PM

Forced Retirement

Some companies have a policy of retiring workers at a certain age regardless of how productive they are, etc. Once out of work, it is much harder to be rehired elsewhere at such an age - nor is it possible for everyone to open their own business. So while I agree in principle, I suggest people make plans for retirement even if not actually intending to do so.

(4) Anonymous, October 27, 2014 3:58 PM


My great grandmother worked hard her entire life and retired at the age of 87. She didn't have a financial need to work until 87 years of age but she had a strong work ethic and valued work. Plus, her job gave her a place to go, people to interact with, and something to do. Soon after giving up work her health began to decline. I believe this is as a result of having something to do. My father is nearing 70 and he has no plans to retire. Maybe he can cut back on his hours but the work gives fulfillment, socialization and stimulation.

(3) Lisa, October 27, 2014 3:59 AM

Rabbi; We hope you listen to your own advice I guess we'll be hearing your " something to think about" videos for a very long time!!
Retirement to me sounds like a punishment!!
Work as long as you can....especially if you find fulfillment in what your doing!
Loneliness & boredom are very toxic to a soul!!

(2) SusanE, October 27, 2014 12:07 AM


I agree Rabbi. Keep working if it is work you love, or retire from work you dread and find work that you are happy in.

I tried retiring at 62 with Social Security for awhile. That didn't go well. Then tried it again at 65 with Medicare. Then tried again at 70. Retiring from work you love is the hardest thing in the world to do. If I can continue doing what I love, I'll probably work till I drop. Great advice.

(1) sidney, October 26, 2014 9:53 PM


I was ready from the beginning and through most of the video to write a forceful rebuttal. (Lesson Number#1 don't reply until you listen to the entire story.)
However you actually validated my choice to retire at age 57, almost 10 years ago.
I am as busy as ever, with my most important activity learning Torah for 3 hours every morning (besides other times during the day) in the local Yeshiva; it is almost like never having left it 43 years ago!

Anonymous, October 30, 2014 4:17 PM

Good move

I'm so happy for you finding Torah to interact with your fellow congregants. To most people, a hobby is the perfect thing to do. In your situation, Torah is your hobby and it happens one of the most fulfilling hobbies a Jew can have. Mine is volunteering with my local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America (of which I'm a life member), my Masonic Lodge and I'm an active volunteer with my county Medical Reserve Corps helping my community when disaster strikes. (Always training to enhance my ability to save lives). I've been teaching CPR at hospitals, colleges, universities and to the general public (including the military) since 1978. Very, very fulfilling for me.


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