Like many people, I was completely taken by surprise by the Pope’s announcement that he would be resigning at the end of February. Characteristically, when Benedict XVI explained his decision, it made perfect sense: he is getting too old and frail for the demands of an extremely arduous position. The decision does raise the question of how old is too old to do the job that you are in? The answer is an important one as the life expectancy of people around the world rises. One way to reduce the economic burden of an ageing population is to readjust what we consider to be old and therefore the age at which we expect people to retire at. For many countries, including the one I am living in, the retirement age is 65, but if you retire today at 65 you can expect to live for at least 15 more years in retirement. While 15 years of retirement might sound great, economically it might not be affordable. So perhaps we should be pushing back retirement to 70? 73? But one thing we might have to consider is how would increasing the retirement age work with more physically demanding jobs? Either way, at the very least I think that once you reach 85 you’re entitled to seek retirement. I hope that the Pope finds some rest from his labours of the last few years, he’s deserved it!