​​I started in 2001 with a contract that allowed me to leave at 50. But like everyone else, I got the reforms which pushed back my early retirement age to 52-and-a-half and then, in reality, 57-and-a-half for full pension.

In France, there is a national strike due to reforms of pension laws. 75% of the public agree reform is necessary yet 69% support the strikes. Somewhat contradictory opinions. Average life expectancy in France is 83 so those that were sold the lie that retiring at 50 was their future were conned. It was too good to be true.

Start work at 20, retire at 50 leaves just 30 years earnings to pay for another 30 years of retirement. The numbers don't add up and only the very wealthiest would be able to save anything like enough to live in comfort.

The state couldn't possibly afford it, hence the reforms.

So if we are all living longer we need to work for longer and that being the case we need to focus on our well being. Employers can do a lot from providing counselling services to proactive programmes encouraging employees to become, or stay, fit and healthy.

Ultimately it's down to the individual. Words are easy but breaking bad habits is difficult. Such as choosing fruit instead of the packet of minstrels I just ate! Employers need to invest in their employees well being and we all need to become more accountable for ourselves.

You can read the original article here.