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What does retired mean to you?

INTRO Forums Retirement What does retired mean to you?

last updated by  CFarmer8 1 year, 2 months ago
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    People ask me if I’m retired and I never know what to say. It’s as if there is only one definition for the word retired and that means you left your career or profession after many years at the same company. So does mean leaving a W2 job and choosing to become self-employed part or full-time means one is retired? Does taking a work break or sabbatical after age 60 generally mean you’re retired? Does choosing to stay up late and not have to set the alarm mean, you’re retired? Does choosing to live off of savings or equity, or owning responsibility for your finances, solvency, day-to-day schedule, health care provider mean, definitely I’m retired? Does spending your years doing the things you love rather than go to work me you’re retired? Are there really only two labels, working or retired after you reach a certain age? What does retired mean to you? When does it technically start?


    I think that many of us grew up in an era where were told that if we went to work for a good company, after 30 or 40 years of hard work, we’d get rewarded with a gold pen and a pension. That never appealed to me back then and it barely exists as a promise now. By the 90s, that concept was becoming archaic. Now, it’s all but fossilized or dead. Retirement is a state of mind at this point. For some it means security and money and for others it means a different kind of freedom (spiritual; emotional; psychological) to pursue interests and do things that are fun or matter. Financial freedom is far more elusive today to many than it was in the old days. Necessity breeds invention and in many cases now, it means REinvention. Retirement is an invisible goal post that moves every minute. At this point, I’m far more concerned about the state of our nation and planet and humanity as a whole. You can always figure out a way to make money. You can’t reinvent the planet and it takes generations to recover from wars.


    I consider being “retired” another form of self-discovery, a temporary suspension for introspection of your life and goals you have done and not accomplished.

    Aside from a traditional viewpoint of a ‘life of ease’ (of which it isn’t – this is a myth some of us buy into), for me it’s a time to challenge yourself and grow. That’s what it means to me.

    If we aren’t challenging ourselves once we age, it can be a difficult road to evolve and be better human beings. Why do you think volunteerism is growing among the senior community? It’s because we’re challenging ourselves and bucking the system of what “retirement” is.

    Of course, we need to be able to think ahead and plan for future needs where our lives are concerned – financial and health a priority – but knowing how to apply our newfound “freedom” and finding a renewed sense of purpose is what being retired is to me.

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