Paul Meloan – Vested Interest

I enjoy taking shots at the The Wall Street Journal's Wealth Report blog.  Most times, it wanders back and forth between envy over toys and schadenfreude over the downfall of some public figure.

Its most recent entry is an interesting case.  They focused on why some people, even with the financial means to retire completely, have no interest in doing so.

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2010/09/27/why-the-wealthy-never-retire/

I think they managed to simultaneously get the point and miss it completely.

The myth of retirement is that it is somehow beneficial to completely disengage from productive work.  I believe the evidence is beginning to accumulate in the exact opposite direction.   Many Boomers will reach their 70th birthday in the coming decade and realize they are nowhere near the asset level needed to support their standard of living.  But what they will also discover is that remaining engaged is a better way to function, even for those without the financial necessity to do so.

Whoever said they really wanted to play golf every day, then start drinking at 5 pm?

The WSJ piece seems to confuse this with a longing for the rat race, and that is where they are quite wrong.  I do not believe that persons with other options will strive to stay in the corner office or on the board of directors for the sake of power and prestige (the two currencies the WSJ most values).

Rather I think persons will seek to find a place where their brains, experience, and passion for causes (some that make money, others that do not) are valued and respected.  All of these aspects of their life are muscles that are either exercised or they begin to atrophy.

Paul Meloan is the co-founder and co-managing member of Aegis Wealth Management, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Before Aegis Paul was a practicing attorney as well as working in the tax practice of Ernst & Young, LLP.

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