Looking at how long you need to plan for retirement for couples. It’s different from planning for a single person Longevity illustrator:

I use the Actuaries Longevity Illustrator to show how to think through retirement horizon planning. This first scenario, I look at a 50-year-old woman, trying out …

Okinawa is a small town in Japan that has the highest concentration of centenarians of all other regions in the world. The people in Okinawa not only live longer, they also stay healthier for longer. Age related chronic illnesses like coronary and pulmonary malfunction, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis are rare. Above everything else, people of Okinawa also score highest in their happiness index. Reason for exceptional longevity, health and happiness of the inhabitants of Okinawa? It is Ikigai.

Ikigai simply translated means “reason to be”. There’s a similar often repeated phrase among the French, “raison d’etre”. Another way of defining Ikigai is “life on purpose”.

It is said every individual in Okinawa has his / her own Ikigai, a reason to live. Ikigai is always specific to an individual. Each individual must find his / her own Ikigai.

Finding one’s Ikigai requires patience and deep thinking. It may take several years to figure out what one’s Ikigai is.

When we talk of retirement planning, traditional view has been often limited to financial aspects – savings and investments. Longevity or the lifespan in India has been increasing by 4 years for every 10 years. According to WHO data, average life expectancy in Delhi is already at 79 years, and it continues to go up. Living for 20, 30 or 40 years after retirement will need a very different state of body, mind, and soul.

Before planning our retirement, finding our Ikigai becomes critical.

How do we find our Ikigai?

To find our Ikigai, first we have to know what do we love and then figure out what are we good at. If we are able to find a commonality, then that becomes our passion.

Next, we find out what the world needs. If we find a common ground between what we love and what the world needs, then that becomes our mission.

Once we know what the world needs, we try finding out what we can be paid for. If there’s commonality between what the world needs and what we can be paid for, then that becomes our vocation.

And if we can find common area between what we are good at and what we can be paid for, that becomes our profession.

Only if we can find something common between what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for, then we would have found our Ikigai.

Finding our Ikigai needs years of search in our within. The search has to start many years before our retirement dates. Probably the most ideal time to start searching for our Ikigai is in our late 40s or early 50s.

In Okinawa, everyone finds his / her Ikigai, and no one ever retires. With Ikigai one find the purpose to live for.

Like the inhabitants of Okinawa, if we too are able to find our own Ikigai and thus our purpose to live for, we would have spent our time between our retirement and our final day, well worth living for. Work would no longer seem like work, and we would have succeeded in retiring our own retirement.


With retirement age fixed at 60, but longevity going into 80s, many people are struggling with the thought on how to spend the rest of life. ShalinLife is a community network where we exchange ideas and information with you to enable you to deal with extended lifespan so that you can plan before you retire and live prosperous, healthier, and happier golden years of life.

One fine day you reach your 60th birthday and you celebrate the day with lots of fanfare. But deep inside, you are feeling overwhelmed. Soon you will be retired and you will no longer be coming to the office. You will be sitting at home, with your spouse as your only companion in the empty nest. You begin to think how are you going to live the rest of your life. Suddenly you are gripped with stress and anxiety.

Your problems get compounded when you realise that longevity is increasing and about 4 extra years are added to your life every 10 years. An educated urban Indian’s longevity has already reached 80s.

Many important questions begin racing through your mind. “Do I have sufficient financial means to live for the next 20 or 30 years? How will my health be as normal processes of aging set in? Now that all former colleagues are busy in their work, will I become friendless and lonely?”

I am now taking steps to reinvent and rewire my own life. I have decided to not retire for as long as I can by staying healthy and happy, and taking up work that is meaningful and meets my passion.

This is the time when we can fulfill our unfulfilled dreams. In our 20s we took a certain path in building our career and life that was defined not by us, but by our parents and the society. Today we know who we are and we can make course correction. We can do things that we feel passionate about and derive meaning in our lives. We can gain our identity as who we are, instead of identity based on what we had been doing. Retirement, fortunately, has released us from the shackles of false identity based on our past jobs, positions held, the sense of power and status.

Figuratively speaking, we can now craft our own epitaph and pen down our eulogy speech. Universe has added years to our life. It is now our turn to add life to those years.