Eularee Smith
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Redefining the word retire

Since I have declared my plan to retire, I have had more feedback from readers. After the shock of hearing that I would retire, the question is "are you old enough?". This probably speaks more to my seemingly boundless energy than any fountain of youth serum discovery. Honestly, it has nothing to do with age.

Yes, I am reaching the magic bullet age, but I think the shock comes more from how people define the word retire. The definition of retire: leave one's job and cease to work, typically upon reaching the normal age for leaving employment. This leaves us scratching our head, wondering what is the normal age for leaving employment.

Can I get an "Amen" that most of us would have left our jobs long ago if it was all about normal? There is nothing normal about working 40-60 hours a week, to the detriment of social contact with friends and family. Chronological age has nothing to do with it, although, we seem to come to this conclusion around the golden age of 60. 

The truth is, the compelling reason, is more about the ideal there is something more I can do with my life, while I am still alive. It isn't about leaving a job, but creating new opportunities. It means giving myself the time to work at my passions, instead of coming home so tired, even reading a book feels like work. 

Therefore, I declare that the word retire is an outdated concept and the definition should be revisited. Here are a few suggestions.

re·tire   riˈtīr/: Time to discover new opportunities to explore at any age.

re·tire   riˈtīr/  Leaving the workforce to become a better worker on one's own terms.

re·tire   riˈtīr/  Finding the sweet spot between what one has to do and what one wants to do.

No matter what you call retirement or the age you decide to retire, it is not an end, but a beginning and that is why I am looking forward to it. To those who are still in shock, you have plenty of time to get over it. My plan to retire is at least 3 to 5 years in the future. Save the date for 2017, and we will revisit this conversation. In the meantime, I will follow the example set down by my 85 year old parents, who told me they are busier now than when they were working, and loving it. Now that is what I call retirement!

Any definitions you would like to share?

Images: Flickr image by Bohman




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