First he drags out this Julie Curtis, an actuary at Boeing, to question the findings of academic Dr Ephrem Cheng Siao Chung (B.Sc., M. Sc., Ph.D., University Of Alberta). Isn't it kinda obvious that Curtis, being a Boeing employee, has a vested interest in saying that "The idea of working longer will shorten a Boeing employee's life expectancy simply isn't true"? You expect her to say "Working for Boeing is bad for your health" ?
For the record, her empirical data have been challenged. What does “number alive” in her chart actually mean? If you retired at 50 and it was 30 years ago, then you could expect that you don’t have long to go. If you have only just retired, you would certainly expect to “be alive”. It says “a random sample” – but is it the same number for each age cohort? And how long ago did each person retire? Is it also evenly distributed?
Haverkamp also quoted a British Medical Journal study which claims that employees who retired at 55 had a significantly increased mortality compared to those who retired at 65. Then he shoots his own foot by noting that some workers may have retired early because of health reasons. Brilliant, sick people die earlier. So what else is flawed with that study?
Finally he quotes a Ms Sally Green-gross (nope, you read that correctly) who said "Work .. provides mental and physical activity, self esteem, social interaction and income for us. Sudden retirement may not be the honeymoon we expect it to be".
Whether she's green or not, that has to be a gross distortion of the work situation in Singapore. Here it means heading for the overcrowded MRT station before the sun has risen, and crawling back home for dinner after the sun has set. To pay for the housing loan, utility bills, property tax, tv licence, town council charges, and avoid a warrant of arrest for being late with the check. Amidst the constant threat of being replaced by a foreigner willing to slave for lower wages. Meanwhile, being labelled as daft, ignorant, requiring spurs stuck in the hide, must do wonders for self esteem. Social interaction? They don't even have time with the kids, who are overloaded with extra homework because of ECA activities like "volunteering" for the bloody YOG. No, retirement is not a honeymoon, it is just a long due and deserved rest. You can't compare this to Lee Kuan Yew's "work", his son even told Charlie Rose in the interview of 14 April 2010: "He calls himself a mascot". Some more suka-suka set his own salary.
What to do, white man speaks with forked tongue. Always have, and always will. Better to believe Mr Tan.