The turn of the year is traditionally the time when we think about new beginnings but objectively it marks the passing of time. There have never been so many folk of retirement age in this country and that’s a trend on the increase.The expectation is that because we’re living longer we’ll be working longer. And the black hole in public finances makes raising the retirement age an even more attractive prospect. This year the Conservatives said they’d increase the official retirement age. The government is promising to review the age at which employers can force workers to retire. It got Nigel Warburton, senior lecturer in philosophy at the Open University to consider what the ancients had to say about being ancient and how the individual and society can make the best of it. In particular he was much taken by the thoughts on the matter of the first century BC philosopher and statesman, Cicero :
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