Retirement and the Dreams of Children


The myth of ‘happily ever after’. It is something that occupies my thoughts as I start to focus my dreams for the future, senses and views heightened by the knowledge that retirement will be in the next decade and that it will come with many challenges. Some interesting thoughts in this blog.

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“I Want to Live Happily Ever After.”  This sentiment is understandable in a child.  Vulnerable and inexperienced, their growth relies on fantasy to some degree.  But retirement services aren’t peddled to children.  The little girl in this ad by Ameritrade speaks to adults, and not necessarily to parents alone.  Her shyness warms hearts but also plants a reminder of human frailty.  She hides behind pictures of princesses and butterflies, a symbol of our inner child, and if we are not in touch with our emotions, a messenger of fear.

Ameritrade retirement ad: Little girl wants to live happily ever after.

By offsetting the text “I Want to Live,” the threat of death looms in the subconscious—death of one’s offspring, death of oneself, death in general.  Yet in the context of retirement, the primal statement also implies that one is not really living until their obligation to work ceases.  Both meanings quickly tap into the psyche and arouse desires so often linked…

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