Should we do away with ‘retirement’?

Before you begin to think I have completely lost the plot, let me clarify … I don’t mean let’s never actually retire and just continue to work forever.

So what do I mean? I am actually referring to the word ‘retirement’ and the traditional thinking around it.

Why is that?

Firstly, the word ‘retirement’ or the verb ‘to retire’ – the definition of these terms would be to withdraw, or specifically relating to work to leave one’s job and cease to work/exist. What this would imply is that this is the latter stages of life and have negative perceptions – but with the wonders of modern medicine and careful planning that people may actually be in this phase of life without work for much longer.

Secondly, the modern retirement is now different from what you would traditionally expect – people are no longer just sitting in an armchair with their slippers on waiting for ill health to take over.  I wrote about this in the blog recently entitled ‘The different stages of Retirement’ and therefore maybe it should be considered as three separate stages. Certainly during the early years of retirement (the ‘go,go’ years) people are often very active whether that be physically on a regular basis or with the experiences and travels that they have. Talking from experience it can be hardest to arrange meetings with people during these years as they are so busy!

So what should we call it instead?

Well here’s some ideas:

  • Separating it into stages – The ‘Go,Go’ Years, the ‘Go Slow’ Years and the ‘No Go’ Years
  • The third act (after childhood and working life)
  • Financial Freedom
  • Financial independence
  • ‘Me time’

Which of those do you like best? Or have you got any other suggestions?