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Reader Poll: The Best is Yet to Come As I Take This Job and Shove It When I’m 64 and Have the Time of Your Life Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

Industry Trends and Research

As the Memorial Day holiday (and, as tradition holds, summer vacation, generally) approaches, it’s time once again to pick the best song(s) about retirement.

We’ve done this for several years now – and each year has brought together a different playlist. So, as you crank up the tunes – in your car or personal listening device, out by the pool or as you fire up the grill, this week we wanted to give you a chance to think about – and rank – the best song(s) about retirement.

Now, in fairness, we’ve positioned this question a little differently each year. There’s been the best song about retirement, the best theme song for retirement, the best retirement anthem, and just the best retirement song. This year we’re going to change this up a bit – giving you a chance to pick your favorite 3 retirement anthems – and may the best song(s) win!

But – before we get there….

Last year it was the best song about  retirement, and the winner(s) were:

1. We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals    

2. Good Times Roll – The Cars

3. Take It Easy – The Eagles

4. I’m Free – The Who

5. You Can't Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones

The year before that the top five were:

1. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow – Fleetwood Mac 

2. Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes – Jimmy Buffet

3. We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals

4. When I’m 64 – The Beatles

5. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

And the year before that, it was:

  1. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  2. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
  3. Already Gone – Eagles
  4. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
  5. The Best is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra

And (for you true retirement song aficionados), the year before that Well, we had a completely different top five.

  1. We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals
  2. Too Much Time on My Hands – Styx
  3. I Can’t Hold Back – Survivor
  4. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  5. Too Late to Turn Back Now – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose

Reader Comments

We did get a few this week to go with the selections; here’s a sampling:

“Maybe one should consider different generations, my votes put me at or close to retirement, if I was 50 or 40 or 30, the answers would be different. of course maybe too easy to get into too many variables.”

“Upon hearing some alternative rock back in the ’90s, one of my parents’ friends asked if it was intended to be an alternative to music. I can’t imagine what she would think of music now.”

“We need more retirement songs!! I don’t think any of the selections on there were from this century :)”

“Love the anthem idea!”

“The people in my life I consider my heroes and mentors, and the music I listened to all my life developed my believes and values. I am happy to have worked in the retirement industry for over 30 years. I believe I kept true to my beliefs and values by helping people have some form of savings for retirement. My parents did not have much for retirement except for social security. It’s more than what they had to start with. I’m lucky I was able to make a living guiding companies to provide retirement plans for their employees. Now I and many Americans have something in addition to social security to enjoy retirement.”

“It was great looking through this list, as there are a number of the songs I really enjoy (probably newer ones that most of your audience likes). I never really associated any of these with retirement except 'Take This Job and Shove It'(although, with an attitude like that, the singer is not likely to stay at a job long enough to accumulate enough wealth or pension vesting to retire).”

“We (mid-50s) attended a wedding (mid-20s). My husband has apparently turned into his own father and was continually disparaging the ‘kids’’ music, and noting how they even knew all the words. So the next day I played some of ‘our’ music from our teens and noted how he knew all the words. I realized at a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert a few years ago, as I looked around and saw all the gray hair, that in 10-20 more years we'll be sitting around the gazebo at the beach not listening to the music of Glenn Miller, nor even doo-wop bands, (the music I thought the ‘old’ people hung out at the beach to enjoy) but bands with screaming electric guitars. While I was treating myself to a Metallica-fest while doing some stuff around the house, I had a great idea for a tee shirt slogan: 'First my parents thought my music was noise, and now my kids do!'”

So, what topped the list(s) this year? Well, we got a completely different list. As noted above, we gave you a chance to pick your top three – rated either “my favorite,” “my second choice” or “I could get down with it.” And, based on our elaborate weighting system (applied to those rankings), the top five retirement anthems were:

  1. The Best is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra  – which not only got the most “favorites,” but got votes in all three categories!

The rest of the top five included:

  1. Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
  2. When I’m 64 – The Beatles  
  3. Time of Your Life - Green Day   
  4. Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

And – to get your (mellow) weekend party started…