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The increase in people’s life expectancy means that they have to work until an older age to pay for their retirement. One alternative is that people start to work at a younger age. 

Is this alternative a positive or negative development?

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Over the past few decades, people have become used to the idea that they will have to devote a larger proportion of their life to work, and some of them even continue to work after the legal age of retirement. The fact is that as human life expectancy increases, only a few jobs can ensure that people have a comfortable retirement. Therefore, many people are choosing to enter the workforce much earlier than before, and in my opinion, this is a negative development.

I agree that starting to work at a young age is advantageous for young people, but they should only consider this as a way of gaining experience. Having a job while studying with the aim of saving money to enjoy retirement is both unrealistic and counter-productive. For one, most part-time jobs students can do, like bartending or tutoring, only offer quite low salaries, certainly not enough to contribute to their retirement. Also, many high paying jobs, such as lawyers or doctors, require a qualification that can take up to 6 years to get, and therefore are not possible for young people to do at a young age.

On the other hand, people nowadays are still fit to continue working well into their sixties or even seventies. I believe working keeps people not only mentally but also physically healthy, which is extremely important for the elderly. For example, my grandfather admits that he felt so bored and unhealthy after retirement that he had to set up a workshop near his house and has been working there ever since. This example also suggests that people should not consider working at a younger age as a way to save money for retirement.

In conclusion, I understand there are reasons for young people to start their working lives earlier than the generations of their parents or grandparents. However, working after the retirement age is a way to enjoy a longer life expectancy, and therefore there is no obligation to have a job and save money from an earlier age.