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The word Retirement – what does it mean to you?
March 9, 2022

The Word Retirement - Retirement Transformed

The word retire was first used in 1550, and it meant to leave an occupation. Did it mean forever? Did it mean life stopped? We hear so many different emotions surrounding the word. “I can’t WAIT to retire!” “I am NEVER going to retire!!” It got us curious, what does that word mean to you?

The word retirement can offer many meanings, and it all depends on how you define it, and at the end of the day it is based on what your individual goals and vision are. Do you plan to take some time to relax, travel or are you more ambitious and want to start a new hobby, volunteer or even start a new business? For some people, retirement may feel like it means “now I get to do nothing”, while others think “now I get to everything”. It truly depends upon how you have envisioned your future years at the end of major career.

40% people surveyed by AARP stated that they will never retire; mostly because of fear and feeling irrelevant. It doesn’t have to be that way. We are here to help our community understand and embrace that retirement should be an opportunity to do what you want, offering freedom and flexibility in work, relationships and in life.

How can we reframe this word? Is there an alternative?

We recently read on Forbes.com, “The Official New Word That Will Forever Replace The Term Retirement”, written by social worker turned Financial planner Robert Laura. In the article, Robert suggests that the best way to rename the word retirement, is to call it retirements. By simply adding the letter ‘s’ to the end of the word retirement, a new, more dynamic definition is formed alluding to a proactive transition from one role to another vs. the finality of a one-time forever choice made by the singular, more traditional use of the word.

This resonates with us as we have made it our life’s mission to help individuals see that retirement isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. You may leave a career or job, but you can start another one. We want your retirement to fulfill you, to keep you from feeling a loss of identity by creating a new one.

If you have negative feelings around it, what is it about the word retirement that you don’t like? Chances are the day you entered your career, someone mentioned to you the word retirement. They likely discussed how important it was for your to immediately begin saving up for retirement. Everything that we have been taught about retirement has often been around finances. Questions like “How will I have the money to retire?” are usually at the top of the retirement checklist list, however many people forget to focus on what they will do when they retire.

If we use Robert’s suggestion and think of the word retirement as retirements, the world is opened to new possibility. Does making the word retirements make you feel more hopeful and excited about your future, or do you think we need to create an entirely new word that describes the transition from leaving a career or lifelong occupation to the next phase? What other words make sense? Rewire/rewiring was mentioned by one of our Retirement Transformed followers. Is there a word better suited for this next phase of life? Or are we able to as a society, change the mindset of what it means to be retired so that it is something that we work TOWARDS with enthusiasm. Leave us a comment and let us know your opinion!