still at work

Posted by Analyse at 6:16 PM

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The first time I set foot on the working arena here in France, my first impression was : 'oh, the workers are much older here'

  • Anecdote: the very first product launched in the market from our new Philippine production site (where I worked) was fondly named by the French management as 'made with the virgin hands' - the average age of the workers there was 21yo. (PS: I discovered this from my frenchguy!)

Yesterday, I attended the retirement party of one of our operators and I felt really sad amidst the champagne and the gateau (cake) distributed for the occasion. Among the operators I've worked with, she surely is my favourite. When I confide to her whatever problem I have, be it personal or professional, she always have this to say at the end of the conversation: 'tu sais bien que je t'aime' (you know very well that I like you). That's sufficient enough to reassure me - to know that I'm not alone and I have a mother-figure to depend to.

Laurent always tease me about the fact that most of my closest friends are older than me. Well, in fact, Laurent himself is older than me. And now, he tells everybody that my bestfriend is retiring. Sounds odd nga naman.

Talking about retirement, the subject is a total taboo for me till I arrived here. In the Philippines, as I was surrounded by people of my age, I never even gave it a thought. Nobody in my entourage talks about it. And now that I'm here, surrounded by the retirables, by the stingy French, by people who talks investment, I start to think about it myself.

Here are some helpful tips to plan your retirement à la française (classed by priority):

1. Plan your next vacation stop - better buy a world map so you could organize it intelligently. Farther countries should be considered first while you're younger - European countries when you're older. Of course, unlike when you were still professionally active and physically able, this time, it will be an organized visit.

2. Find a new past time - very important especially when you're not on vacation. Crochet, stamp collection, rock collection, or just the afternoon soap operas could be a good divertissement.

3. Try gardening - you have to grow your own plants to be able to save for your next vacation
4. Learn to be a nanny - your place will be the favourite vacation hideaway of your grandchildren while your children are on vacation themselves.

5. Subscribe - you will discover that crossword puzzles are good stimulators to make your brains work even after retirement. Better subscribe on your favourite magazines.

6. Find a new bestfriend - either a cat or a dog will do. But be warned: it's hard to find a pet nanny during your vacations.

7. Be a 'pétanque' champion - rendez-vous every 3pm at the park with all the other retirees. Of course the conversation will be centered on the last vacation each one had.

Well, well, well.. Doesn't sound bad, does it?


celia kusinera said...

hi Ms. Ana, that was my observation too when I first arrived here in UK. They are very conscientious about their pensions. And very knowledgeable about savings, mortgages, and financial products. That's one thing that was not taught (at least to me) in Phils. I think we have to educate the young people in Pinas just to be aware of good investment choices.
Btw, are you a Mapua alumni?

Analyse said...

completely agree with you.
yep, im a mapua alumni. are you too?

Anonymous said...

gosh now i should have to consider all this???correct ka sis ...Rob always tellin me that we are hardworking people and had much money when we are younger but we are the poorest among all the old people in the world he encountered...he even told me of wrong notions we had on investments 1) we consider our kids as investments-i remember my teacher in college telling us that this is a bad "habit" our old folks had, that we the younger gen shud not follow
2) insurance -is not a sure thing...coz it only makes the insurance company even richer...blah,blah

Anonymous said...

Well said Jel. It’s true that most of the older filipinos don’t worry that much about their retirement as they know that their children will take care of them in return. And the utang na loob thing enters in the scenario. This mentality doesn’t work in the the western countries. Here, it’s to each his own attitude. But this doesn’t make them less family-centered as we are. The difference is that, older people take responsibility of themselves financially at their later years while younger generations start to construct their own lives independently. They don’t have this notion of double responsibility e.g. I will start my own family but I still have to help my parents / sisters / brothers. Most of these white-colored species do appreciate this deed…but not when it becomes an obligation.