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退休成本急剧升高 也许100岁我们还得工作

更新时间:2018-8-5 10:52:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What if we have to work until we're 100?
退休成本急剧升高 也许100岁我们还得工作

“Between the ages of 100 and 105, I published four articles,” says the elderly man sitting opposite me. Now 106, Bill Frankland is probably the oldest active doctor on the planet. Though I’m meeting him on a bright, cloudless Saturday morning, he is happily settled in his office in London, dressed in a suit and tie, surrounded by a sea of academic papers.

“从100岁到105岁期间,我发表了四篇文章。”坐在我对面的弗兰克兰(Bill Frankland)说。他今年106岁,可能是世上年纪最大的在职医生。我们约在周六早上见面,那天阳光明媚万里无云,而他却选了伦敦的办公室,里面堆满了学术论文,他本人西装革履。

Frankland first trained as a doctor in the 1930s. During his long and illustrious career, he has become the world’s foremost authority on allergy. He worked with the Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of antibiotics, Alexander Fleming, and was once called out to Iraq to treat dictator Saddam Hussein.

弗兰克兰从1930年代开始学医,职业生涯长久且辉煌,目前是全球过敏领域最重要的权威。他曾经与诺贝尔奖获得者、青霉素的发现者弗莱明(Alexander Fleming)共事,也曾被派往伊拉克给独裁统治者萨达姆(Saddam Hussein)看病。

Though the rules at the time meant he had to retire officially at 65, there was no question of giving up work and he has been working in a voluntary capacity ever since. “What would I do otherwise?” he explains. His latest project will be out soon. “I thought ‘I must write another article when I’m 106’. And actually it’s scribbled out already. I’ve more or less finished it."

按照当时的规定,他该在65岁时正式退休,但他并未停止工作,之后一直义务贡献。他解释说,“不然我干嘛呢?”弗兰克兰的最新文章即将发表,他说:“我得在106岁时再写篇文章。其实我已经起好草,就快完成了。”

Needless to say, Frankland’s attitude is unusual. Most people imagine their later years as an extended holiday – a chance to swap desk chairs for arm chairs and start taking afternoon naps. But this might not be quite how things pan out in the future.

毋庸置疑,弗兰克兰的工作态度确实特别。许多人都把晚年生活当成放长假——丢掉工作椅,换上扶手椅,开始睡午觉。但以后可未必如此。

There’s a sizeable gap between the amount that most people are saving towards their retirement, and the amount that they’re likely to need. It’s growing every day. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), people living in some of the world’s largest economies – the US, UK, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, China and India – collectively face an eye-watering $428 trillion savings hole by 2050.

大部分人为退休存的钱都跟实际所需相差甚远,而且差距越来越大。世界经济论坛(World Economic Forum)最近一份报告显示,到了2050年,世界几大经济体——美国、英国、日本、荷兰、加拿大、澳大利亚、中国和印度,国民将面临累计428万亿美元的巨额储蓄不足。

Meanwhile, the global population is older than ever before. As of 2015 there were are around 451,000 living centenarians, and this number is set to increase eightfold over the next three decades. In the US, they’re the fastest growing age group. In the UK, there are now so many that the Queen has hired extra staff to send them cards. In fact, the majority of children born into wealthy countries today can expect to celebrate their 100th birthdays.

与此同时,全球人口老龄化的程度也前所未有。截至到2015年,全球有约45.1万百岁老人,再过30年将增长8倍。在美国,百岁老人成了人数增长最快的年龄层。而在英国,由于百岁老人太多,女王得额外雇人给他们送问候卡。现如今,出生在富裕国家的孩子大多都会活到100岁。

This is part of the problem. Even in 1960s America, more than two decades after state pensions were first introduced, people were typically only able to enjoy them for around five years – since the retirement age was 65 and the average life expectancy was barely 70.

寿命的延长是原因之一。在20世纪60年代,虽然美国推行政府养老金政策已经20多年,但养老金通常也就够用5年左右。因为退休年龄是65岁,而预期寿命只有70岁。

But for centenarians, retirement could be up to seven times longer. And with companies moving away from expensive final-salary pensions, those hoping to maintain an annual salary of $44,564 – the US national average – will have to save around a million dollars.

但对百岁老人而言,退休年期可是那会儿的7倍之长。因为成本过高,公司现在纷纷取消了按员工退休时的工资数额发放养老金,那么如果想保持约4.5万美元的年收入(美国平均年收入),就得存100万美元。

Instead, a substantial number of these natural marvels may have to work. What kinds of job will they do? Will they be well enough? And will anyone want to employ them?

相比巨额存款,很多长寿人士可能得继续工作赚钱。他们会做什么呢?身体状况允许吗?会有人愿意请他们吗?

The answer to the first question may surprise you. Across the globe, from California to Poland, to India, centenarians are already hard at work. And it seems no profession is off the table. There are far too many to list, but they include barbers, such as Anthony Mancinelli, who has been cutting people’s hair for 95 years (he started in 1923, when he was 12); athletes, like Stanislaw Kowalski, who broke a World Record for a 100-metre run at 104; and YouTube stars, namely Mastanamma, a great-grandmother aged 107, who teaches her million followers how to cook dishes such as fried emu egg.

第一个问题的答案可能出乎你的意料。在世界各地,无论是美国加州还是波兰、印度,百岁老人们已经在努力工作了,而且各行各业都有。例子不胜枚举。譬如理发师曼西内利(Anthony Mancinelli),他已经帮人剪了95年的头发(从1923年12岁起);以及运动员科沃斯基(Stanislaw Kowalski),他在104岁时参加100米赛跑,打破了最年长参赛选手的世界纪录;还有油管(YouTube)红人玛斯坦玛(Mastanamma),这位107岁高龄的老奶奶在网上教人做饭,煎个鸸鹋蛋什么的,粉丝已经上百万。

In fact, older people often want to work. This is something Peter Knight, an entrepreneur based in the UK, can relate to. He set up the recruitment company Forties People about four years ago. They specialise in hiring mature candidates. “There’s no upper limit. We have in the past had a client who is 82 and their employee, the oldest is 94,” he says.

其实,上了年纪的人往往想工作。企业家奈特(Peter Knight)深有同感。大约4年前,他在英国成立了招聘公司四十不惑(Forties People),主要面向较年长的应聘者。奈特说:“我们没有年龄上限,之前有位82岁的客户,他们公司的员工年纪最大的已经94岁。”

The 94-year-old had retired three times from the same company, which looks after the records of Royal Marines – and each time he kept going back into the office to see his colleagues. He started helping out and one thing led to another, until they decided they would pay him a token amount so that he could come and go as he pleased. “He was part of the furniture then.”

那是一家管理英国皇家海军陆战队资料的公司,这位94岁的员工已经从那里退休了三次,每次退休都会回来看望同事。最初就是帮帮忙,之后越做越多,最后公司决定象征性地给他发工资,于是他可以随时来成了公司常客。

Of course, some jobs are just too good to give up. The 92-year-old British television presenter and national treasure Sir David Attenborough, who makes TV programmes about wildlife for the BBC, is reassuringly confident that he’ll make it to 100 – and he’s said several times that he has no plans to retire. Who would, when the job involves sneaking up on sloths, honing your wolf call and playing with baby gorillas?

也有些工作让人舍不得退休。英国国宝级电视节目主持人艾登堡爵士(Sir David Attenborough)在英国广播公司(BBC)制作野生动物类节目,现年92岁的爵士已经表明会工作到100岁,而且说过好几次并不打算退休。如果你的工作也可以偷偷吓唬树赖,学狼叫,还能跟大猩猩幼崽一起玩,肯定也不想退休。

“We don’t have a compulsory retirement age anymore in the UK, but if you take the higher education sector you have people continuing to lecture well into their 70s,” says Jane Falkingham, a gerontologist and director of the Centre of Population Change at the University of Southampton. “I think the oldest professor we have in my faculty is in their mid-70s. But of course academia is quite a nice life.”

福金汉姆(Jane Falkingham)是老年病学专家,也是英国南安普敦大学人口变化中心的负责人,她说:“英国已经取消了强制退休年龄,在高等教育领域,很多人都会工作到70岁以上。我们学院最年长的教授已经70多了。这当然也因为做学术本身就很美好。”

For Frankland, continuing to work was a practical decision – though he is clearly passionate about his subject. “I used to be a manic gardener, but now I can’t do that,” says Frankland. “All the things that I used to do, at the age of 106, I cannot do. So what is left? I do quite a lot of reading, mostly scientific stuff rather than novels or anything like that.”

对弗兰克兰而言,虽然他对自己的研究饱有热情,但继续工作也是出于实际考虑。“我以前钟情于园艺,但现在干不了了。到了106岁,很多以前做的事情都做不了了。还能干嘛呢?我会看很多书,大多是科技类的,不看小说那些。”

At Forties People, there’s no real pattern to the roles that they recruit for, though most are office-based. “We’ve had three press companies phone us in the last few weeks,” he says. After trying to recruit younger receptionists and HR staff and finding them to be unreliable, they had decided to try older workers who can prioritise their jobs.

四十不惑招聘公司不限制工作类型,但大多数是办公室工作。弗兰克兰说:“几个星期前,有三家新闻媒体主动联系我们。”它们本来是想聘用年轻人做接待员和人力资源,但发现不太可靠,所以打算聘用年长些的,能以工作为先。

For people with more physically demanding jobs, continuing work is more of a challenge. But this might not always be the case. “Technology is changing the work that we do,” says Falkingham. “So actually some of the more manual jobs in terms of hard labour are being done by machines. It’s changing the nature of work, which will facilitate people working longer as well.”

如果是体力活,年纪大了还继续做就比较困难,但也并非绝对。福金汉姆说:“科技正在改变工作,有些需要壮劳力的活已经由机器取代。这改变了工作性质,也能让人多做几年。”

So will most people be well enough?

那么大多数人身体状况允许他们继续工作吗?

In fact, most centenarians are surprisingly healthy. They might have more wrinkles than a naked mole rat, but on the inside, they’re often in better shape than much younger pensioners. One recent study found that they tend to suffer from fewer diseases than those who are up to two decades younger.

其实大多数百岁老人身体都很健康。虽然已是皱纹密布,可跟那些年纪比他们小但靠养老金的人相比,身体却要好得多。最近一项研究显示,与年轻他们20岁的人相比,他们更少得病。

They’re not doing badly mentally either. While it’s true that some abilities decline as we age, so-called “crystallised intelligence” – the skills and knowledge we’ve built up over the years – continues maturing well into later life. Back in 2016, scientists examined the health and abilities of centenarians who had registered to vote in New York and found that they showed very few signs of senility and were, overall, functioning at a remarkably high level.

而且思维也不差。虽然有些能力确实会随着年龄增长而下降,但我们的“晶体智力”,也就是多年累积的技能和知识,却会随之增长。2016年,科学家研究了纽约百岁以上登记选民的健康和能力,发现并没什么衰老迹象,反而状态都很棒。

And while retiring early is generally thought to be better for your health, in some circumstances giving up work might achieve the opposite. One study of blue collar workers in Austria found that men who retired three and a half years early were 13% more likely to die by the age of 67 – particularly if they were single, lonely and used it as an opportunity to reduce their physical activity.

很多人认为提早退休对身体有益,但有时不工作反而有害健康。对奥地利蓝领阶层的一项调查发现,提前3年半退休的男性在67岁前去世的几率比其他人高出13个百分点,特别是那些单身、孤独、退休之后减少了体力活动的人。

South-west of Japan’s main islands, in the East China Sea, is a tropical outpost that seems to back this up. Okinawa is famed for its high proportion of centenarians; it’s been estimated that roughly one in every 2,000 people there are over the age of 100.

坐落在中国东海热带海域,日本列岛西南端的冲绳岛就是实例。这里以居民长寿闻名,每2000人中就有一位百岁老人。

Over the years, researchers studying this remarkable place have noticed several aspects of the Okinawan lifestyle that might explain their longevity. These include eating lots of vegetables and fewer calories overall than the average American – but also their attitude to work.

对冲绳多年的研究发现,这个厉害的小岛上有许多利于长寿的生活方式,譬如人们会吃很多蔬菜,热量摄入比一般美国人少,同时还有他们对待工作的态度。

There is no word for “retirement” in the Okinawan language; the locals, many of whom grew up as farmers and fisherpeople, may carry on working until they die. Elderly residents live by the principle of “ikigai”, which is loosely translated as “having a reason to get up in the morning”. Predictably, the island boasts the world’s only “centenarian” pop band. KBG84 has played a sell-out Japanese tour and only accepts members over the age of 80.

冲绳字典里就没有“退休”一词,许多当地人打小就是农民或渔民,会一直工作到去世。冲绳老年人的生活原则是“ikigai”,意思大概就是"清晨有个起床的理由"。不难想象,这里诞生了全世界唯一一支“百岁老人”流行乐队——KBG84。这个乐队在日本巡演时只接受80岁以上的观众,而且门票销售一空。

So centenarians aren’t as decrepit as you’d think, and there are plenty of jobs that they can choose from. But will anyone want to employ them?

一百岁也没你想得那么衰老,还能做很多工作。但会有人愿意聘请他们吗?

Well, yes. “The future has got to be older, I think,” says Knight. In his view, older workers have several advantages over their more fresh-faced colleagues, including the ability to work with people and superior communication skills.

有的。奈特认为,“未来劳动力的年龄会越来越大。”而且,与年轻同事相比,年长员工有不少优势,譬如合作和沟通能力都更强。

Besides, elderly workers are likely to be experts in their field. Frankland was invited to give evidence in court at the age of 99. The case involved a driver who claimed an accident wasn’t their fault, but the consequence of an allergic reaction following a wasp sting. He persuaded the court that this was unlikely and the accused was eventually convicted.

另外,年长的员工很可能是各自领域的专家。弗兰克兰99岁时被请去法庭作证。案件中,肇事司机声称事故是因为自己被黄蜂蛰伤后起了过敏反应而导致,错不在己。但弗兰克兰向法院表示,并不可能发生这种情况,被告最终被定罪。

There are challenges, however. Knight says several clients have rejected older candidates because they were too good – they were seen as a threat to the person employing them. For example, one worker successfully managed several crises while a senior colleague was on holiday. But instead of being pleased, “they got rid of her because she became more popular in the office. They asked for someone else without her skills or experience.”

但是也有挑战。奈特说,有些公司不请年长应聘者是因为他们太优秀了,老板觉得是个威胁。有个员工在上级放假期间成功解决了多个危机,然而老板不仅不满意,还炒了她鱿鱼。“因为她在公司更受欢迎,公司想请个比她资历浅的人。”

Another problem centenarians may face is slightly more obvious – they’re old. “If you look on a company website and they say ‘this is a young, dynamic, vibrant team’, the last thing they want is a mature worker there,” says Knight. There’s a cultural gap. Imagine telling a colleague with grandchildren about that rave you went to at the weekend. “It’s like working with your parent or your grandparent.”

百岁老人面临的另一个问题比较显而易见——年纪大了。奈特说:“如果公司在网站上写着‘我们是个年轻团队,充满活力与朝气’,那它肯定不想员工年纪太大。”年龄差会产生代沟,如果你的同事连孙子辈都有了,那跟他们讨论周末的狂欢派对想必不会太投机。“好比跟父母或祖父母一起工作。”

Nevertheless, one place that’s leading the way is Japan. With the longest life expectancy on the planet and birth rates plunging to a record low, nearly a third of the nation’s population is over the age of 65. This demographic reality has led to new government-backed rewards for companies that hang on to older workers. They’re also considering raising the age from which people can choose to claim a state pension to 70.

尽管如此,还是有地方引领着雇佣长者的潮流——日本。日本国民的寿命全世界最长,而出生率却跌至新低,全国有近三分之一的人口在65岁以上。这样的人口结构促使政府奖励雇佣长者的公司,还在考虑将申领政府养老金的年龄下限提高到70岁。

The cosmetics company Pola, which sells skincare products, health foods and underwear at department stores across the country, now employs around 1,500 people – mostly women – in their 70s, 80s and 90s. They’ve often built up strong customer bases over the years, and older teams can outperform those that are more youthful.

日本化妆品公司宝丽(Pola)在本国各地的百货公司销售护肤品、健康食品和内衣产品,约有1500名员工的年龄在70到90多岁之间,大部分是女性。这些员工大多累积了庞大而稳定的客户群,而且业务表现超过了年轻同事。

So how does Frankland find working at 106? “I have all sorts of physical barriers now, deafness is one of them. Just handling things is difficult,” he says. “Looking for journals and things is an awful bore. I’m very limited, physically. I always used to say yes to everything and now I am beginning to say no.”

弗兰克兰对106岁还在工作怎么看呢?“我的身体有很多问题,譬如耳背,连处理事情都很难了。找期刊找东西都很麻烦,身体上确实有很多不足。我之前什么事都会应下,现在也会拒绝了。”

Frankland’s mental abilities are a different story. It would be hard to find a more engaging interviewee – at this point I have been regaled with stories about everything from his time as a Japanese prisoner of war to the book that inspired him to become a doctor. (If you’re interested, it’s The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe.)

但他的思维能力绝对没问题。很少有像他这么有趣的访问对象,他跟我分享了许多故事,让我大饱耳福。有他在战争期间被日本人抓去坐牢的经历,还有那本激励他成为医生的书(蒙特(Axel Munthe)所著的《圣·米歇尔的传奇故事》(The Story of San Michele))。

It may not be everyone’s idea of an idyllic later life; for many, ill health will mean that working past the age of 65 is impossible. But evidently it can be done. And if this is the future of work, offices are about to get a lot more interesting.

并非人人都向往田园牧歌式的晚年生活。对很多人而言,身体的衰老令他们无法在65岁之后继续工作。但这显然也是可以实现的。如果将来成为常态,办公室里也会增添更多乐趣。

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