What does retirement mean?
Is it a door opening or a door closing? A beginning or an end? What do we gain? What do we lose?
Retirement traditionally was driven by the age at which a worker became eligible for pension and Social Security benefits (which for many years was age 65), by mandatory retirement requirements, and by life expectancy. Wives with older husbands often retired early in order to time their retirements to coincide with those of their spouses. Today people live longer, more wives work, and most restrictions have been removed. Has this changed how we plan for retirement?
Often, work is more than a salary and benefits. For many of us, work is a joy. It gives meaning to our lives, provides important friendships, and is the source of our identity. It allows us to feel accomplished and respected, but also provides a place to make important contributions that have positive impact. If we retire, do we lose these?
So…your comments please:
For those of you who are already retired, what did you expect from retirement? What are your experiences of retirement? If you had to do it again, would you do it the same way?
For those of you who are around traditional retirement age, do you expect to retire? How do you plan to make that decision? What does retirement mean to you? Is it the complete departure from the workplace, or do you anticipate working less or in a different way? Is it positive or negative?
For those of you who are not even close to thinking about this, what do you think about when you hear the work “retirement”? What did it mean to your grandparents or parents?
Please scroll down and leave a reply. You need not identify yourself unless you want to do so. However, it would be helpful if you include your age, your sex, and if you feel comfortable, what kind of work you do.