To retire is not a full stop
By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
Many of my Bahraini friends complain that the mandatory retirement age for nationals at age 60 is unfair – especially since their expat friends simply change track and open consultancies or their own businesses and continue working and leading what is seen as a ‘productive’ life.
To that, I always say that yes, retirement at 60 is unfair because 60 is the new 40. Given the changes in healthcare, the new lifestyle goals of healthy eating and exercise that most people undertake in their fifties, men and women reach the Big 6-0 in better shape than earlier generations.
Also, we are more exposed to the skill of processing multiple information and knowledge channels and bring our work experience to bear upon challenges that our companies face – why would we turn away such a valuable human resource talent pool?
At the same time, unless the old(er) team moves out, the younger lot will not find a place in the hierarchy where they can make a difference.
And if the younger mid-level employees do not move up, there will be no fresh intake of staff and ideas will stagnate, leading to an inevitable crash of a topheavy corporate set-up.
When expats in their 60s set up shop in Bahrain, we must applaud them – they are investing their life savings, their lifetime work expertise and their faith and confidence in Bahrain into a new enterprise.
They are enriching our business eco-system and small and medium businesses are after all, the building blocks of the economy.
In my view, Bahraini men and women in their retirement phase must be accommodated in think tanks and industry-specific advisory boards that can help Tamkeen and the government to add value to the labour scenario and to the specific industries.
They must also be encouraged to take on professional consultancy assignments that will help our community and society to make best use of their collective wisdom while making room for the younger gen in the ranks of the workplace.
A solution that will need us all to work together and pool our collective talents and skillsets for the betterment of our beloved Bahrain.
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editorin-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism