Poll: At what age do you plan to retire?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:16
Jan 6

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "At what age do you plan to retire?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:16
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
I'll decide when I get there Jan 6

is the closest to "I haven't a clue" and "when the bills stop coming in."
Apparently, activities that involve the use of your fingers and fingertips slow the onset of dementia icon_confused.gif so I'll probably be hovering between translation and Mahjong in the later stages of my life.


Franco Rigoni  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
At the age of 70 Jan 6

I got a letter from the national social security organization telling that I will retire at the age of 70. That's weird, as I can not imagine myself translating conferences at that age


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Jan 6

I do not know
No clue


Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:16
Member (2012)
French to English
Never Jan 6

I'll die at the keyboard.


Fernán González  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:16
Member (2012)
Icelandic to Spanish
+ ...

Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile

66-70 Jan 6

In Spain we are supposed to retire at 67. As a freelance translator I don't expect I'll be able to retire soon if I wanted.

After that my plan is to avoid translating, especially in the English-Spanish combination (it's saturated). Not because I don't enjoy it, but because unless things change a lot, there's such a high unemployment rate, that I prefer that younger people get those translation jobs at a more decent rate. It's a matter of solidarity. Younger people have homes to buy/rent, its their time to have children if they want and support them, etc. At that age I'm supposed to have my own place and a pension. If I needed to work because I need more money after paying Social Security for decades that would be because the government didn't do its job.

Other than that, in Spain you can't combine work and a pension (unless you have an employee, a new change in the law).

[Editado a las 2018-01-06 15:20 GMT]


R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:16
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No idea... Jan 6

I'm 50, and all I can tell you right now is I have no specific plans for retirement.

Retirement is a mind-set, and if you're working in a job right now which you hate just so you don't have to do it one day, I'm afraid you've got it all wrong. Live life your way, and retire when nature tells you to call it a day.

[Edited at 2018-01-06 15:29 GMT]


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Retirement age and negative population growth Jan 6

Industrialized or highly developed countries such as Japan, Italy and the U.K are raising their retirement age mainly because of negative population growth. Or so the shiny and colorful infographics say.

But there's truth in one thing: negative population growth leaves fewer younger people to be part of the labor force, fewer people to contribute to pension schemes and a smaller pension or retirement pot for everyone under the law.

Here in America you can have a pension from, say, the police force, the municipality or the federal government and still hold a job, either as an employee elsewhere or as an independent contractor. That way, you can pool your retirement resources and hopefully live comfortably (i.e. on par with inflation) for the rest of your days.

I've been paying into the social security system (our retirement scheme in the U.S.) and, on the advice of a paternalistic uncle, contributing to three private retirement accounts (IRA accounts here across the pond). Besides, I own my apartment free and clear, and my car within a year or so. My financial situation is far better than that of many who lost their homes or have underwater mortgages since 2007, and better than that of many retirees in Florida (the “poor gullible white people” I call them).

On some days, I wish I could retire at 54 (my age) and on other days I'm so full of pep I want to live forever.



Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Think about it -- seriously! Jan 6

I have crossed the magic boundary - age 65 here in Denmark - and suddenly I was designated a 'pensioner', even though I had not planned to retire.

Suddenly my earnings were being taxed as if they were a supplement to the pension I was not actually getting, and my husband's pension was docked as well! We thought we had the whole thing arranged, but no, it was not that simple...
My husband sorted it out with the authorities after many complaints and discussions - he is the economist in our house. However, I ended up drawing my pension and only working part time. For all the talk of 'grey gold' and the benefits of carrying on working and contributing to the economy... and other baloney from the politicians, it is not at all straightforward here.

The rules are sure to be different in other countries, but don't assume you can just carry on as before. Check whether it means a drop in your income or a change in taxation, and prepare in good time! Don't assume your health will last for ever - be prepared to slow down and take breaks, because you may need to. If not, take holidays and enjoy protecting your health all the more!

The times they are a'changin'. Translation is not what it was when I started 20 years ago. There seems to be more transcription and subtitling, and machine translation has to be taken seriously. The only thing that has not changed is the rates - or else they are going the wrong way! I have seen a lot of changes, before and after I started translating, and I don't cope with them as nonchalantly as I used to. They are more often a plague and less part of the fun of the game.

There comes a time when you will not just grit your teeth and check out the so-called advantages of the next Trados update (or Windows 10, or whatever other software you use). You may find you cannot concentrate on proofreading as you once could, or some other sign will remind you that you are 'a bit past twenty' or 'several times twenty', as the Danes say. I can't shake off all-night sessions as easily as I used to, although in the winter I tend to work late at night and sleep all morning - it is dark most of the time anyway!

Don't despair! Old translators don't die, they just move into the Tower of Babel.icon_biggrin.gif
My father went on translating well into his 80s, and there are plenty of members older than me on this site.
I enjoy picking and choosing the jobs I like, and explaining to clients why I turn down some of the most ridiculous offers. I can always enjoy some pro-bono work.

I am in the lucky position that I have a pension and don't need to work full time. I have always advocated having a life, and now there is time to live it. See your grandchildren, and take care of your health. Or whatever you prefer... but prepare for the time when you are not able to carry on as always, and think about how you will cope with the changes that will surely come.

Happy translating for as long as you want to continue!


Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'll Retire Only When... Jan 6

...my fingers get too arthritic to fly over the keyboard, my eyes too blind to see, or my mind becomes too foggy.

I think there is a good chance that the latter might not happen in my case because of the kind of mental agility that is required of translators. Also, because my 93 year old mother has no signs of dementia, and my father never did either, when he was still alive.


Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maybe You Will Jan 6

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

I'll die at the keyboard.

Reminds me of Charles Schultz, the creator of the immensely popular American comic strip, "Peanuts": He keeled over dead while he was working at his drawing board, when he was way up in years, to make sure that the next strip got out on time.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Beautiful thinking Jan 6

Christine Andersen wrote:

Old translators don't die, they just move into the Tower of Babel.icon_biggrin.gif

Nicely put, Christine. Can I steal that quote?



Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No plans Jan 7

I don't plan to retire. As long as I am able to use my brains and type, I shall continue working. Stopping it to watch TV, do gardening or other non-productive activities is certainly not in my plans, even if I get rich. But I know I may be foreced to retire one day if I'm no longer capable to do some things. Who knows?


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