Stuart's Take

The richest man in the world wants a shorter work week, and a longer working life. 3 days a week, and work till you are 70 or 75. Carlos Slim, now worth $80 billion, says it’s time to change the way we look at work and retirement.


Here's my take.


Sounds attractive. More leisure time, less work-related stress, and why not work into your 70's? After all, we are living longer. Well hold on a moment… I think we should be asking what do we really want? Do people want the part-time jobs that we are now creating? Do they want a part-time wage? I don't think so. Put a full-time job out there, and you'll find plenty of takers. At this point, with middle class people losing ground, putting food on the table, and paying for college, is more important than extra leisure time. A 3 day week, occasionally? Pretty good. A 5 day week, with money to match? Much better.


How about Carlos Slim's suggestion of working into your 70's? Truth is, that’s already happening. Right now, nearly one in five of the over 65 group are still on the job. But they are working because they have to....they lost their savings in the crash. I have no problem with very late retirement, so long as it’s your choice. I don't want a low income, part-time work week, if that means I have to work till I drop.


Last thing......Mr. Slim thinks your quality of life improves as you work less. He seems to be saying work is bad, and not working is good. Not sure i agree with that. I find work fulfilling. Regardless of your job, doing it well is surely rewarding. By the way, since when has your quality of life automatically improved just because you are not at work? It says don't work much, don't earn much, and work longer. I say, work more, earn more, and if you want to, then work longer.

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